How do you show love?
Several years ago Gary Chapman wrote a wonderful book called “The 5 Love Languages.” He described the different ways people both give and receive love.
All of us are somewhat different in the way we show love to others. We each have unique ways of letting people know that we care.
On the night before Jesus was crucified, He called His disciples together for a special dinner. As they all assembled in a room in Jerusalem, Jesus decided to show them His love and teach them a lesson about showing love to each other:
… Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love. — John 13:1b (NIV)
so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. — John 13:4, 5 (NIV)
This story always amazes and inspires me. In the room that evening was a group of men with dirty feet. These disciples had walked the dusty, muddy streets of the city that day. When they arrived at the appointed time to meet with Jesus, none of them was willing to take a servant’s role and wash feet. They felt that such a task was too menial. No one humbled themselves and showed the customary hospitality and kindness of caring for such a practical need.
But Jesus was different. He wanted to show them what real love is all about. He wanted them to remember that love and humility — love and service — always go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other.
So, without fanfare, at the end of the meal Jesus got up and started doing what no one else would do. He washed filthy feet. One by one He went around the room, taking each of the disciple’s feet into His hands, cleansing away the dirt of the day. Even Judas, who was about to betray Him and Peter who would in a few short hours deny Him, received this loving treatment from Jesus.
And once the foot-washing service was over, Jesus said something to His followers that still applies to you and me today:
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” — John 13:14, 15 (NIV)
There we have it — a command from Jesus to serve one another. Jesus tells us to get busy showing our love to those around us with simple acts of service.
Jesus added a promise to His command:
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” — John 13:17 (NIV)
How about you? How do you show your love?
Loving others is not complicated. It’s a matter of taking time to serve people in kind and practical ways. Try it. You’ll be blessed as you do!