loving those who are the hardest to love

Luke 6:32

32 “If you love those who love you, but what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

As I was going through my devotional this morning I came across the verse Luke 6:32. It talks about how easy it is to love those who love us because anyone can do that, it’s easy, it’s comfortable. But the part of the verse that stood out to me is where the bible says, “but what credit is that to you?”

It hit home because while I’ve improved upon it, I know I haven’t done enough of it. It is so easy to love the people who love you. The people who want to be around you. The people who look up to you and respect you. Your friends.

But what about the people who don’t love you? What about the people who despise you? The ones who hope you fail, who’s only desire is to see you fall. It seems almost impossible. To love the very people who irritate you, stab you in the back, and gossip about you.

In my devotional today, the author, Rick Warren, says, “If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love.”

After reading this, I honestly had to sit down for a bit and just think about what he was saying.

Once you come to realize the amount of love God has for us, a love so immeasurable, so boundless, and so unfailing, your focus begins to change. How can I, a child of God, come to despise another human being who has come into creation through the same means as me? How can you, even for that split second, come to think you’re better than that person who is different than you or doesn’t have the same outlook as you?

I’m a firm believer that in order to pour God’s love into others, you must first realize His love for yourself. Once you understand that, everything truly becomes so much easier. I will be the first to admit for the longest time I struggled and oftentimes continue to battle with the concept of loving those who hate me. It’s really hard to do. But God calls us to do this every day. He calls us to love like he loved, loves, and will continue to love.

The devotional asked three questions at the end:

  1. What does it mean to receive God’s love?
  2. How can you better understand how much God loves you?
  3. How should a Christian’s love look different to the world?

I encourage anyone reading this to ask those three questions to themselves and see where that leads them.

I said it earlier and I’ll say it again, it’s hard. It might be one of, if not the hardest, tasks God calls us to do. But it’s important. It’s easy to love those who love you, cherish you, and value you, but I challenge everyone to do the hard part and show God’s love to those who may not have that same love in their heart. Be their light. Be a friendly face.

It can make an incredible difference.

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