“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34).
God’s heart is for the world. He delights over his creation, drawing us into a deeper relationship with Him. We are invited into a deeply personal relationship with him, to be rooted and grounded in his love, and He wants to love others through us.
“Loving the unlovable”, many of us have heard this phrase, but if you only those who love you, what reward is there for that? (Matt. 5:46)
Does loving difficult people mean they’re unlovable or does negative situations make them unlovable? Trying to love someone is much easier if you don’t start by viewing them as “unlovable” to begin with. Take a step back and see them as God’s creation made in his image and likeness.
Knowing the hardships in someone’s life can give you an entirely new perspective and understanding of their personality or plight in life. Dealing out judgment comes so easily to us, especially when we are measuring someone’s life who makes our lives miserable. But if we remember that they, too, have felt the sting of injustice, the burden of anxiety, and the ache of emptiness, perhaps we won’t be so quick to judge or feel anger and annoyance.
Most of us have struggled at some point and time, whether it’s with a bad attitude, lust, addiction, grief, selfishness, depression and mental illness or some other vice. Yet, this does not make a person who they are or define them in any way. We can choose to love!
Let’s take a look at what Luke had to say in Luke 6:32-42 The Message Bible (MSG). When we choose to only love the lovable or help those who help us we shouldn’t expect to get a medal or a pat on the back. Some may pride themselves on good deeds, but this does not yield any fruit in God’s Kingdom. The MSG says run-of-the-mill or garden-variety sinners do that (v. 32-33). If we only give in hope of getting something in return that’s not charity. The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that (v. 34).
We are told to love our enemies. Help and give without expecting anything in return. We’ll never regret it! We are to live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. God is kind and we should also be kind (v. 35-36). Proverbs 11:17 in the English Standard Version (ESV) says “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” So then, whenever we have the opportunity we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10 ESV).
We should never pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults, unless we want the same treatment. I don’t think we do. When others are down, don’t condemn or judge them. We are to be a blessing to others. “Generosity begets generosity.” (V. 37-38). Let us hold fast to the truth in 1 Corinthians 13:8, “love never fails.” “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.