The more I learn, the more I understand that one of our main purposes while we are here on this earth is to love other people. That, and to know God. Of course, knowing God is first and foremost, because only by knowing Him do we get a better understanding of what love is. In 1 John, we are told that someone who claims to love God but “hates his brother,” is a liar (1 John 4:20). Jesus tells us to go beyond what we are used to and to love not only our neighbor, but also our enemy. He tells us that when we do that, we are acting like God’s children, and He makes the point that if we only love those who love us, we are not really doing much to stretch ourselves in the way of loving others (Matthew 5:43-48). In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the many gifts he could have (the ability to prophesy, an understanding of God’s plans, the possession of all knowledge, faith that could move mountains), but points out that without loving others, he would be nothing. He concludes the chapter with, “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians, 13:1-2, 13). So, loving others does not seem to be optional in God’s plan, but of primary importance. I believe that one of the best things we can do when desiring to love others better is to look at the example God has given us, in Jesus. Jesus was forgiving, patient, compassionate, and humble. We can also study what the Bible teaches about how to love others better…being slow to speech and quick to listen (James 1:19), giving a gentle answer to turn away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Finally, we can ask God not only for His strength to love others better, but to give us the desire to love others, because sometimes, we are lacking even that.