Content for this article was taken from the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus). For more articles included in the book go to Love Like Jesus Book. Love Like Jesus is due to be published in 2018.
…when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. John 4:40
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus was on his way to Galilee when He encountered the woman at the well. It should have been just a short break for water and maybe a little food before continuing on to His destination, but that’s not how it worked out.
His Holy Spirit led conversation there at the well, led to the people of that Samaritan town to urge Him to stay. So, He did. For two days Jesus shared the words of eternal life with the Samaritan townspeople.
How to Love Like Jesus — Living Water and the Fluid Life
I love the way Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as living water because when we’re led by the Holy Spirit, our lives often become fluid. (John 7:37-39)
I used to live a life that was just the opposite. I was scheduled to the hilt. I scheduled activity after activity, meeting after meeting, appointment after appointment, both professionally and personally. My motivation was sincere. I wanted to be as productive as possible. But you know what? I left no room for the Holy Spirit to direct my life. How could He? I didn’t have a minute to spare.
Over scheduling yourself is a great way to kill the Holy Spirit’s influence in your life, and His corresponding fruit, which is love.
Jesus didn’t live that way. Here He is, the most important person on the planet, on a trip to Galilee, and, following the direction of the Holy Spirit, He takes two whole days out of His schedule to talk with the Samaritans.
Can you imagine someone important today, say a candidate for president, spontaneously taking two days out of his schedule to talk to one small group of ordinary people? It would never happen. Most people I observe in our culture today don’t leave room to live a fluid, Spirit filled life. They like to keep busy. They have things to do. And when the Holy Spirit presents opportunity, they usually don’t respond, because there’s nearly always a previous commitment. Stop and talk with the lonely awkward guy at church? Can’t, gotta lunch date right after. Share the Lord with the newly divorced guy at work? Can’t, gotta make softball practice. Invite the unsaved friend to Bible study? Can’t, too much already going on that day. This doesn’t describe a life led by the Holy Spirit.
A life led by the Holy Spirit is a life that’s flexible, free, and fluid. When you choose to live such a life, you’re in for both good news, and bad.
The good news is, if you live this flexible life, you can love people like Jesus did. Availability, flexibility, fluidity translates into opportunity for the Holy Spirit to direct you to love people. To love people like Jesus loved people.
The Bad News
The bad news is, some people don’t deal well with spontaneity. When you live this way, you’ll be misunderstood. Some will say you lack discipline. Some will even think you’re flaky. Some will become upset with you. That can be tough to take. Especially when some of those people are people you care about. Some might come from your church. Some might even come from your own family. It’s absolutely essential you respond to those people in love. And I think the more intimate time you spend with God, in His word, and in prayer, the better you’ll handle those who misunderstand your Spirit led life.
In the end though, it’s worth it. Yes you’ll come under criticism for what some will perceive to be a disregard for structure, but the fruit that’s born makes it all worth it. Look what happened when Jesus loved this way, many of the Samaritans from that town believed.
So to love like Jesus, live a life that’s flexible, free, and fluid.
You can too.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14