Have you ever felt like some people are extremely hard to love?
I’m guessing most of you can think of at least one person like that (if not, just give it a few years!)
Several days ago, I started reading a really good book by Max Lucado called A Love Worth Giving, and already a few quotes have jumped out at me:
“‘I’m supposed to love my neighbor? Okay….I will.’ So we try. Teeth clinched. Jaw firm….”
“Could it be we are missing a step? Could it be that the first step of love is not toward them but toward Him?…”
Lucado talks about how we can’t give what we don’t have, but that God makes love available to us through Christ.
“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us.” Ephesians 5:1,2
So, I was thinking:
I’ve discovered in life that God keeps pushing me to love even those people that are about as easy to love as a porcupine. It’s not just hard; it’s impossible!
But would God really tell us to do something that is impossible?
Yes and no. It may be impossible for us to do in our own strength, but it’s not impossible to do when we are daily drawing near to God and walking in His power!
A few years ago, after being verbally attacked by one of these hard-to-love people, I sat down in shock with my Bible and opened up to the Sermon on the Mount.
“Love your enemies,” said Jesus.
“Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27, 28 NASB
The Lord began showing me then, that the only way we can do those things with a good attitude is to draw near to Him, and let His Holy Spirit do it supernaturally through us.
So, what kind of steps can we take to move in the direction of obedience to Jesus’ command?
- We must recognize that our failure to obey these commands has grieved God, and we need to go to Him for forgiveness.
- If we have not already done so, we need to understand and believe that Jesus died in our place to pay for the pardon for our sins. God is offering you a pardon as a priceless gift; but you must receive it in order to be set free.
- Realize and believe that God’s love for you is amazingly lavish; He went to great lengths to give you new life, a fresh start. You are of great value to Him!
- Draw near to God daily by reading the Bible and talking to Him about what you read there.
- Recognize that, truth be told, we all have our hard-to-love moments.
- Recognize that God loves that porcupine-like person just as much as He loves you. He wants to set them free of their sin just as He did for you.
- Pray for that person that God would bless them with knowledge of Him, with faith, and with the ability to forsake their sin. Pray in Jesus’ name that He would set them free from their spiritual oppression and soften their heart. Don’t you believe God can do the impossible?
- Ask the Lord to help you see them from His point of view.
- Admit to God that you don’t really want to love them, and ask Him to fix your want-er.
- When He brings something to mind that you can do to show them kindness, ask Him for help, and just do it!
I hope these tips will be helpful for you. This list is not exhaustive.
Can you think of any more tips? If so, please share in the comments!
Linking up with: