We love others not because they love us back, but because God loves us all. Our love is mature when we live like Christ, and love like Christ. We can know that our love is mature when we love everyone. That means that we can also love the unlovable. This, my friends, is a tall order. I don’t know about you but I have come across person or two, (or more) in my short time on earth who when I think of, then first feelings that come to mind are not how much I love them.
Scripture: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
The first kind of people who fall into this “hard to love” category for me are the ones who are just mean to everyone. They don’t discriminate, they are just mean to the core. You may know someone like that. It’s like when they come in the room the only thing you want to do is leave it. Loving the unlovable is certainly a challenge. But love always wins. God always wins. Love will tear down those walls. It can cast out demons and cast out mean. Life changes happen every day where the love of Christ turns people around from the worst to the best. Look at Saul who was out to kill Christians, but who God turned around to use for his good and write over half of the new testament.
That brings me to the second category of person who are difficult for us to love, and those are the people who have hurt us. Until when we can forgive them, and forgive ourselves, can our love be made complete. There are some who might be out to hurt you today. They might be jealous of your life, your wife, your job, or maybe the way you look. What I remind myself is that Jesus loved even those who tried to harm him. He loved those who he knew were going to betray him, and the ones who crucified him. Now let’s get real, living like Jesus is a tall order for sure. I know for sure that I would have a hard time loving those who were trying to kill me. And loving those who have hurt me in he past is not something that is easy to embrace. But I know that Jesus loved everyone, so how do I love someone like this?
What I finally figured out is that I can love this person as I would love another family member who has gone down the wrong path. They are not currently part of our family, because they decided to leave and rebel against the family. And we can have compassion on these people. Like when Jesus looked over Jerusalem, he wept – (Matthew 23:37-39). He had compassion in his heart. And that is what we can have, compassion. It doesn’t mean that we have to invite these people into our inner circle and hang out with them on weekends. But we can choose to have love in my heart instead of hate. I can choose to love them as God does, at a distance, through compassion, and by praying for them, so that their actions do not control or define us.
If God is love, then I want nothing in my heart but love. I’m not going to let someone else, who I do not admire in the least, to have control over what flows from my heart. If we do, then that is letting them win. When they have polluted the love flowing from your heart with hate, or fear, the enemy has won. And God promises us a life without fear. There is no fear in love. There is no hate in love. And if God is love, and God is all-powerful, then we can rest knowing that the love of God is all-powerful. The key to overcoming fear is total and complete trust in God.
So while I may fight it, I know that God will restore my wounds and allow love to flow freely again. Learning to love the unlovable is something that is made possible through the love of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. For my stubborn heart, it took way too many years to understand and embrace. Heck I still fight it from time to time even now. But I know that is ok. I’m not perfect. I know that the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, Christ himself said this right before he was crucified. And as Christians God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. That is why He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our imperfections. But we can know that we are made perfect in Christ, and that He can supply anything and everything that we need. When I am weak, He is strong. When I fall, he is always there to pick me up.
I know that I am not perfect, but I seek perfection in Christ. I can live each day new, not living in the past. I can move forward, not looking back. And as Christians, we can live each day looking ahead to the wonderful life that God has in store for us. God has created each one of us for a unique purpose. He has given each one of us unique traits and gifts, and put us here for a reason and for a purpose. Let us embrace those blessings, and the special calling and purpose that God has given us. Let us pray for clarity, courage, and strength to embrace this calling by the power of God our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We can live an amazing life that God has designed for each of us, with God who is always with us.
We can walk into the future that God has planned, knowing that “greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.”
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. Let it refresh us, renew us, restore us, and guide us today, each and every day. Let your peace live in us, and allow us to deter the attacks of the enemy today. When negativity hits us, let if bounce right off of us. When someone is mean or rude, let it pass right by. Protect our hearts and minds from anything that is not of God. Give us strength to overcome. We seek you first every morning Lord, and give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Image courtesy of: Cristina Jiménez Ledesma
Photo By Cristina Jiménez Ledesma
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