June 14, 2017

Loving the Unlovable

A month ago as I was driving home from a conference in Nashville I began to think about love.

And how hard it was to love others. Really love others. It’s easy to say it and post memes and pretty graphics about it.

Much harder to do in real life. A busy life. A wounded life.

It’s much harder to really love those whose personalities rub you the wrong way. Those who are just obnoxious. Those who exhaust you mentally.  Those you’d rather duck into the next aisle in when you see them in the grocery store people.

But you know what? That’s exactly who Christ has called us to love. It’s easy to love those who are like us. Those who pour into our souls. Those you can be vulnerable with it and share the innermost parts of your heart with. Those we can laugh with. Those we can feel comfortable being quiet with.

We enjoy loving those people. And we need those people in our lives. We have to have those people in our lives.

But what about those other people?

They are different for all of us.

For some it’s much easier to love the Muslim refugee than it is the white republican male.

For others it’s much easier to love the person next to them in church than the homeless person sitting on the street outside of church.

Some can easily love any other race but struggle with those with mental issues.

Some can love and accept the adulterer but not homosexual.

and vice versa for all those situations.

We each have a wall that has been built by biases, experiences and teachings.  But still we most love.

Uncomfortable, isn’t it? (speaking to myself here)

But isn’t that exactly who Christ has called us to love?

Isn’t that what is supposed to make us different?

Isn’t that what people are supposed to marvel at about our faith? Our ability to love.  Because our love comes from Him.

Ephesians 5 tells us “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

1 John 4 says “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”

Challenging myself today to love those that I have deemed unlovable in my heart and mind.

Join me?

(Disclaimer: Do we have to have boundaries? Yes.  Are there some that aren’t safe for us that we have to remove ourselves from? Yes.)

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