How To Love Like Jesus: The Power Of Unconditional Love

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Published by Kenneth Garcia

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Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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God made Adam and Eve at the start of creation because of His abounding love and desire to have fellowship with us. We are created in His image, and we have that inherent quality of God, which is love[1].

Loving God, especially Jesus, is humanity’s primary reason and pursuit. But as a fallen creation of God, loving Jesus presents numerous challenges and hindrances. Our earthly nature dictates that we love ourselves before we love others, even God. Sometimes we selfishly love ourselves, a distinct form of idolatry.

But Jesus loves sinners. When we persistently pursue God and call on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we will develop the character and capability to love like Jesus. We are called by God to live and love like Jesus.

Key Takeaways

  • Loving like Jesus involves prioritizing love for God and others above oneself, practicing forgiveness, and embodying virtues such as kindness, patience, and humility as per the teachings of the Bible.
  • The ten practical ways to love like Jesus include self-sacrifice, praying for others, sharing God’s Word, caring for others without judgment, and fostering forgiveness, kindness, and servitude towards everyone, including enemies.
  • True love like Jesus’ is achieved through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, leading to a heart change and the capacity to love selflessly, as evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit and the transformation from a “heart of stone” to a “heart of flesh.”

What Does It Mean To Love Like Jesus?

Pursue The Great Commandments

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

— Matthew 22:37–39

The Great Commandment embodies the essence of Christianity: “Love God above all and others as yourself.” God commands us to set our priorities regarding whom to love in order of importance. He tells us to divest ourselves of our selfish love of the self that has pervaded and hounded most of humanity since the beginning of time.

Practice Forgiveness

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Colossians 3:13

When we develop an attitude of forgiveness, we begin to love like Jesus. We have to overcome evil with good. In the Bible, no one sinned that our Lord condemned. Instead, Jesus loved sinners and extended them forgiveness. Also, Christ forgave the religious leaders who persecuted Him. Practicing forgiveness also works both ways. It benefits both parties: the offender and the other offended person.

How To Love Like Jesus

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2

To love Jesus means always pursuing the increase of our faith and the development of our virtues.

  • Pray without ceasing.
  • Always read the Bible.
  • Praise and worship God often.
  • Attend church services regularly.
  • Be mindful of the interests of others. Practice empathy.
jesus hugging a person on the ground and love like jesus

10 Practical Ways To Love Like Jesus

1. Willingness To Die For Others

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. He was born without sin and lived without sin. Yet He sacrificed Himself for our salvation. He experienced suffering, humiliation, and isolation for our sake.

We may not be able to match the character or fortitude of Christ. Are we willing to jump off a sinking boat so that others may survive? But God tells us that we exude great love when we are eager to lay down our lives for the sake of others—loved ones and even strangers.

2. Praying For Others

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people.

1 Timothy 2:1

Jesus was a man of prayer. He often prayed to the Father in many places and at all times. He also prayed for His apostles, disciples, and other followers. Jesus also prayed for those who hated and didn’t believe in Him. Moreover, He prayed for all of humanity.

When we pray for others, we spur God’s love. This habit also breeds the essential virtues of faith and humility in our beings.

3. Share God’s Word

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.”

Mark 16:15

The Great Commission of Jesus tells us to share the commandments with all people to the ends of the earth. When we share the gospel, we allow other people to learn about Jesus and His abounding love. Most importantly, we also show them salvation through our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

4. Care For Other People

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3–4

We learn to love like Jesus when we genuinely care for others. Caring for others does not always mean sharing God’s Word. It also means extending material and relevant help to people in need.

It is not the amount, quality, or quantity of help we extend to others, but the heartfelt sincerity of our hearts in helping others. We can start caring within the confines of our homes, families, and communities. Giving alms to people experiencing poverty and helping out in volunteer feeding programs are great ways to extend our love to our neighbors.

5. Do Not Judge Others

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 7:1–2

We are all made equal by God. No one is perfect, and each of us has our flaws. The domain of judgment belongs to God alone. When we judge others, we are exhibiting pride and, in a way, saying that we are like God.

In John 8:1–11, the woman caught in adultery in the Bible mirrors the non-judgmental posture of Christ. The people condemned the woman as a sinner who deserved death through stoning, according to the law.

But Jesus intervened and said that all were sinners. He challenged those without sin to be the first to throw a stone. None did, and they all left. Like Jesus, being compassionate means not judging others, as this duty only belongs to God.

6. Show Kindness

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

Kindness is a virtue that manifests the goodness of God in our lives. We show kindness when we help an old lady cross the street or open a door for another person. We also say “God bless” to other people to express our sincere compassion. Most importantly, kindness is an element of forgiveness—showing compassion to others, even those who hurt us.

7. Show Patience, Gentleness, And Humility

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2

In our fast-paced world, the essence of patience and gentleness has dramatically diminished. We demand instant gratification for our requirements emanating from other people. Humility also exemplifies love. These virtues reveal that we value the time and efforts of other people, recognizing that they may have other concerns of their own.

8. Practice Servanthood

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:28

In ancient times, one of the tasks of a servant was to wash the feet of his master. During the olden days, people used to walk in their sandals, and the streets were mostly rough and covered with dust and dirt. Because of this, washing their master’s feet was an everyday task for the servant.

In the Bible, Jesus demonstrated the essence of servanthood. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. They were amazed at what Jesus did. Are we willing to emulate Jesus? Can we join outreach programs and help plant trees in the countryside or clean the dirty waterways in our community?

9. Love Your Enemies

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:43–44

Loving your enemies proves to be a great challenge for many people. How can you love your boss who has maltreated you and fired you unjustly? How can you love a neighbor who abused your young child? 

Instead of making vengeful remarks to our foes, we can pray for them. Jesus loved His enemies. He forgave and loved the Jews, Pharisees, and religious leaders in the community who condemned and hurt Him.

10. Do Not Take Revenge

Do not repay anyone evil for evil … Do not take revenge.

Romans 12:17–19

In the Bible, Peter tried to avenge the Lord by drawing his sword and cutting the ear of the servant of a high priest. Jesus Christ rebuked and admonished Peter for such vengeful action.

We tend to hurt people who have harmed us in some way, but Jesus Christ tells us to love our enemies and not take revenge. He further stresses that vengeance is His. He alone has the authority to impose the corresponding penalties and consequences for people who have hurt others. We, as His people, must overcome evil with good.

Moreover, there are biblical ways of correcting the unrighteousness and crimes of other people. There is a legal system instituted by God, the courts, where we can rightfully complain or seek justice.

Can Anyone Love Like Jesus?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13: 4–7

Learning to love like Jesus is difficult. First, Jesus is God and is perfect and without sin. The Bible says that He is love. Compared to Him, we are just mere mortals who often love only ourselves and the things of the world.

To love like Jesus means being assertive with others about the truths of the Bible. Jesus rebuked the rich young ruler for his greed. The young ruler’s intention lacked fully surrendering himself to God.

But God gave us faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. When we pursue Him to strengthen our faith, we begin to emulate His character, that of a benevolent God. God lives in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and as a result, we imitate His loving nature.

The Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Galatians 5:22

As humans, we are by nature weak and selfish. Our earthly humanity demands that we serve our interests first before we look at those of our neighbors. Worse, we often prioritize ourselves over God.

But when we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, we can ask God Himself to dwell within us. We become the temple of the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit is indwelling, we manifest God’s love.

Change Of Heart

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

People sometimes refer to others who are insensitive as having a “heart of stone.” When we are not in Christ, we are often unkind unbelievers who do not espouse mercy and compassion toward other people. Instead of being humane and living, we become “cold-blooded.”

Heartlessness is a negative attitude and character trait that separates us from the Lord. Jesus loves us. When we walk in Christ, we emulate His loving identity with a new and changed heart.

jesus talking to a woman by the well and love like jesus

Final Thoughts

Loving like Jesus is the essence of our humanity. We were created to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves. When we only focus on our earthly possessions, we grow farther away from God and lose sight of what matters in life.

To love like Jesus means putting others first. Jesus gave His life for us, and although we are imperfect, we can love like Jesus. Everything on earth is temporary. We can rest assured that perfect love will engulf us in eternal life when we walk with and follow Jesus Christ today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does It Mean To Love Like Jesus?

To love like Jesus means to prioritize love for God and others above oneself, embody virtues like forgiveness, kindness, patience, and humility, and follow the teachings and example of Jesus as described in the Bible.

How Can I Love God And Others As Jesus Did?

You can love God and others as Jesus did by following the Great Commandments to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself, which includes practicing forgiveness, sharing God’s Word, caring for others, and living a life of servitude and humility.

What Are The Practical Ways To Love Like Jesus?

Practical ways to love like Jesus include being willing to sacrifice for others, praying for others, sharing the gospel, caring for people in need, avoiding judgment, showing kindness, patience, gentleness, humility, serving others, loving enemies, and refraining from taking revenge.

How Can I Develop The Character And Capability To Love Like Jesus?

You can develop the character and capability to love like Jesus by persistently pursuing God, inviting the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and practicing the virtues and behaviors that Jesus exemplified, such as forgiveness, servitude, kindness, and selflessness.

What Is The Role Of The Holy Spirit In Loving Like Jesus?

The role of the Holy Spirit in loving like Jesus is pivotal; when you invite the Holy Spirit into your life, you allow God to dwell within you, leading to the manifestation of God’s love through the fruits of the Spirit and enabling you to love selflessly and genuinely as Jesus did.

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