There’s an important and easily missed form of love that’s manifested in the small matters. For example, helping a person in need, preferring them over ourselves, showing sympathy when someone is stressed or worried, offering a prayer, or being a listening and sympathetic ear.

When we choose to take the time to stop and help someone in need, when we show love and concern for someone hurting, when we give of what we have, we become more loving. We leave a legacy of love behind us as we pursue our path of life.

On the other hand, when we choose to focus only on our own goals, responsibilities, and concerns, ignoring the people around us, we become more self-centered and isolated, and we can end up wandering aimlessly about in our own universe. In the end, we’re the sum total of the choices we make on a daily basis.

Each of us has opportunities to make choices based on love for others, on wanting to help humankind. Each day, we can do kind deeds. Putting ourselves in others’ shoes and taking time to think about why people do what they do is a lot more fulfilling than criticism, and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. As a wise man once said, “God Himself doesn’t propose to judge man until the end of his days. So why should you and I?”

There are many ways of showing love, and it will be up to each of us to take the time to reflect on how we can personally show more love. We may want to get a notebook or journal and ask ourselves a few questions, such as:

  • How much love and self-sacrifice do I show on a daily basis? Do I stop and show love to those who need it?
  • If God asked me to make a sacrifice, big or small, out of pure love and unselfishness, and I knew there would be little or no return, would I do it?
  • When I don’t feel like stepping out, when I feel the other person should be the one reaching out to me, am I still willing to take the first step?
  • Am I willing to listen to others and show concern for their thoughts, ideas, and preferences?
  • How can I reach out more to others and add meaning to their lives?

This article was adapted from the Roadmap series of Christian leadership articles.