You know how we lived among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV
Love will express itself to different people in different ways.
Here is someone who is weak—that is, someone who does not have the ability or opportunity to get out of a particular situation on his own. What does love do? Love helps him. Here is someone else who is timid. She could do something about her situation, but she lacks confidence. What does love do? Love encourages her.
If you help the timid, you reinforce her feeling that she can’t do it without your help. You create dependence. That’s not what you want to do. So you say to your son, or daughter, your co-worker, or your friend, “You can do this, and I’m not going to do it for you. You can do it. Here’s how. I’m rooting for you. But you do it.” That’s encouragement.
Here is someone else who is idle. He is lazy. He won’t make the effort. What does love do? Love warns him. Love says, “If you are not prepared to take responsibility here, don’t look to me to bail you out. Don’t expect me to pick up the slack.” If you help the idle, or encourage the idle, you create dependence, and so love doesn’t do that. Love warns the idle.
Love discerns the needs of others. It distinguishes the weak from the timid, and the timid from the idle. These are different conditions, and love serves each of these people in different ways.
Are you expressing love in different ways to different people, or have you adopted a “one size fits all” mentality? What is one situation you could handle differently?