‘Christ has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love His brother.’ 1 John 4:21 (NIV)
Every one of us has someone we have a hard time loving. It may be a family member, a co-worker, or even a friend. Everyone has little “things” that may irritate others. But usually we can ignore, or look past those things, to see and enjoy the person.
Sometimes we can’t love a person because of their character traits. I know I have an issue with people who are overbearing, who tend to dominate a conversation, and who often simply think they are in charge of everything. When I am around someone like that, I soon start to feel very insignificant, like I have nothing of value to say, or to contribute to the encounter. I may even fade away into the background, and then make my escape. I know it’s not right, and it is certainly not how Jesus would act, but I would rather leave the situation than to continue to feel the way I am feeling. And I certainly do not want to say or do something to hurt that person’s feelings.
Quite often we feel like we can’t love a person, or persons, because they are different from us. And differences can cause fear. But if we are born again Christians, we must draw on our faith, and trust God to put love in our hearts for those who are indeed different. It can be a challenge to decide to show love to someone we are uncomfortable with. But if we will follow the leading of Jesus, and emulate how He showed love to those who were unlovable, then we will see that the love for others that begins to grow in us is from the seed of what Christ planted for His children to harvest for His kingdom.
Jesus tells us to love one another. Even when it may be difficult, that is what we must do. If we love God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, then we must love others. We must learn to overlook those things that may make the person undesirable to us. We need to begin to see them through God’s eyes. Every soul is of value to Him, and deserves our love as well. When we can make the decision to show love, it will grow, and it will renew itself from person to person to person. And we will be able to share the hope that is Jesus Christ, the one who overlooked our faults, our “things”. He sees us, and He sees us with love. As He loves, so will we, if we will make the choice to love our sisters and brothers. And in this, Our Hope will be shared with those who need Jesus, the only Hope of the world.
‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.’ 1 John 4:7 (NIV)