The couple was clearly struggling. Not with each other – with a stroller. They’d managed to quickly switch the baby from the stroller to the baby carrier on the man’s chest, but now they couldn’t get the stroller to fold correctly, and the bus was about to leave.
That’s when he stepped in. Another man, already sitting on the bus, was nudged by his wife to notice the couple. The second he realized that the couple couldn’t get the stroller closed, he was up on his feet, asking if they needed assistance. He helped them fold the stroller and lift it onto the bus without hesitating in the slightest, even though everyone was wearing masks and expected to social distance. But I guarantee you – the couple wasn’t bothered by his help at all. Even as a bystander, I was impressed by his genuine kindness.
It’s these moments of spontaneous Christ-like service that convince me people really are capable of building communities of love and peace. No second thoughts or excuses, no hesitation to serve – just unconditional, everyday love.
People who are good at this kind of love are important examples to me. I wish I were as service-oriented and loving as they are, and maybe someday (with a lot of effort) I will be like them. I don’t think they understand how important this kind of love is to so many people, and I’m sure they don’t realize the impact they have on everyone they meet.
Other Examples of Christ-like Love
I know a woman who goes out of her way to show extra love to dozens of people all of the time. She’s constantly making gifts for her family members, working to bring people together and maintain relationships, and ensuring that many people feel remembered when they might not otherwise. Over several conversations with her, she’s taught me that it may be small or simple efforts, but the results can completely change hearts and minds.
My grandmother was always willing to give of herself, no matter the cost, to help and love those around her. She particularly went out of her way to serve family members and she kept them all healthy and happy, no matter how distant they were. Whenever someone new came into the family, my grandma never hesitated to welcome them in and make them feel like they belonged, even if they were only briefly part of the family. Her willingness to welcome all people turned our family into an accepting and kind group of people, regardless of how close our relationships are to each other.
Recently, I went out of town for a few days. My grandpa agreed to take care of my house and cat while I was gone, but he ended up doing a lot more than that. When I returned home, I found that he had cleaned up the garbage and mess around my yard left by the previous owners. His unexpected kindness not only saved me a lot of time and work but also demonstrated a generosity that I had done nothing to deserve. He simply thought that it was a job I wouldn’t enjoy, so he did it for me.
Willingness to love and serve others, whether they “deserve” it or not, is truly Christ-like. It exemplifies His grace and mercy, and though we see Christ demonstrate this grace and mercy in the New Testament, we experience it when He works through us and others.
How to Choose Christ-like Love
As I mentioned, I have a lot of growing to do myself in Christ-like love. But from these examples of love, grace, and mercy in my life, I’ve learned a few things that make me want to be better and may be helpful to any of you who are in the same boat I am:
- Remember who people really are. They aren’t just an annoying neighbor or a vague outline in a car. Everyone around you is a child of God, just like you, and choosing to see them that way first gives you a different perspective of them all around.
- Do the little things. Send a text or birthday card. Offer help even when you know it will be rejected. Smile at others even when you don’t know them. Help pick up something that fell. Hold the door for someone. There are so many little things to do that can demonstrate love to others, and they don’t require that you change much in your life to do so. The Bible may not talk about Christ doing a lot of these little things, but that’s only because the Bible focuses on the big events. You can be sure that He did the little things too.
- Be welcoming. Disregard outward appearances and try to assume the best about people. Even if they live or believe differently than you, you can still create a welcoming, positive atmosphere that fosters good relationships no matter who any of you are.
- Learn to follow spiritual impressions. These impressions can be much more subtle than you might expect, and actually following through when you receive them can be a challenge. I’m still learning to do this, so often God has to send me the same impression over and over before I finally accept that I need to follow the impression. It’s a learning process that can take our entire lives to be really good at, but people who learn to do this tend to be better about giving Christ-like love when it’s most needed.
There are plenty of other ways to choose Christ-like love every day, but these are a few key things to start with. And as long as we do our best to faithfully learn, grow, and improve, God will be able to work through us and accomplish more than we ever could on our own.