Give people grace. Keep in mind how much grace God has given you through Jesus, and let your gratitude for that motivate you to be graceful with others who have made mistakes.

Choose the right friends. Since you become like the people you often spend time with, it’s important to surround yourself with loving people who will inspire you to become a more loving person yourself. Let go of friendships with people who are influencing you to become more selfish and embrace new friendships with people who challenge you to put love into action more in your life.

Live for an audience of one. Live to please God alone, rather than other people. When you respond to God’s calls to serve others, don’t expect recognition or appreciation from people for doing so; see that as a bonus, but not necessary. Help others in secret when you can, as a way of expressing your love for God purely, without any strings attached.

Be real with others. Don’t hide who you really are behind a fake image when you reach out to other people. Ask God to give you the confidence you need to risk being open, honest, and vulnerable in your relationships with others. That’s the only way you can authentically express love to them.

Pick a fight instead of an opinion. When you’re disturbed by a specific issue of injustice in the world, go beyond just forming an opinion about it. Ask God to help you actually do something about it. Take whatever steps God leads you to take to fight injustice, no matter how much it costs you to do so. Be a part of changing the world by helping to turn something that’s wrong into something that’s right.

Forgive those who have hurt you. Rely on God’s help to follow His command to forgive the people who have hurt you, and always keep in mind how much God has forgiven you for, thanks to Jesus. As you move forward, unclench your fists and relate to people in a “palms up” way, by continuing to love others without fear because you’ve chosen to trust in the power of God’s love working through your life.

Adapted from Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World,copyright 2012 by Bob Goff. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.

Bob Goff is the founder and CEO of Restore International, a non-profit organization fighting injustices committed against children. Restore’s mission is to make a difference on behalf of those who do not otherwise have a voice. Restore International has worked with Uganda’s judiciary in more than 200 cases to free children from wrongful imprisonment without trial. In 2007, the Restore Academy was started, a school in the war-torn region of Gulu. In India, Restore has intervened to relieve minor girls from a life of forced prostitution, leading to the identification and arrest of more than 50 perpetrators. Bob shares leadership in a Washington law firm, Goff & DeWalt, and is admitted to practice in California and in Washington. He serves as the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine Law School (Malibu) and Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego). Visit Bob’s Web site at: http://bobgoff.com/.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer

Publication date: March 22, 2012