If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
One of the foundational points of Christ’s teachings to His disciples was of their love to be as great and as permeating as His love. The group of disciples were to love one another as strongly and as abidingly as Christ had loved them throughout their discipleship. What does such a love look like between two people? How would they show it to one another? It is one thing to say “I would die for you”, yet what about in less severe times?
Thankfully, we have examples as well as statements about what exactly Jesus meant by His love throughout the books of the gospels. One does not lay down one’s life for a friend solely by dying for them. We do so also by living for them. Sacrifice your comfort for theirs, expend your time and labor for their benefit instead of yours.In a broad sense, live your every day such that others may find comfort.
In a practical sense, the above explanation I have found always receives the same sort of reaction from Americans I talk with; “But if I act as such, then I’ll burn out caring for others all the time. Who will care for my needs, my comfort, if not myself?” The answer, of course, should be obvious. Those people you are working to care for are meant to be working to care for yet another beyond themselves and so forth. In a truly Christ-like culture, this chain would continue on until every caretaker is in turn taken care of.
Yet this is not the culture we live in here and now. What do we do, since we don’t have a fully Christ-like culture, where do we start? We start with where we are today. We work with what we have as hard and as powerfully as we can until we have more. Donate to a charity you believe in, volunteer your spare time in your community, smile at the stranger on the street, hold the door for the person behind you. Do whatever you are able to make your corner of the world a kinder, more compassionate place.