Loving the unlovables. That’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Loving those who are difficult to love. That can apply to many different types of people in each of our lives. May I list a few?
- The arch enemies
- The instigators
- The opinionated
- The drama queens
- The judgmentals
- The gossips
Those are the obvious ones, though. There are others that are closer to home.
- Our spouse…or ex-spouse
- Our in-laws
- Our siblings
- Our parents
Maybe these bleed into one another, but we will eventually come across difficult people in our walk on earth. The question is how do we abide in love in these situations?
Pray and Read God’s Word
This sounds simple, but it’s the most effective way to learn God’s ways. He will speak to you through the Word. Partner that with prayer (conversing with God), and He will speak to you, and teach you how to walk in the Spirit.
Realize that you yourself are unlovable at times
I think I just heard alot of gasps as I typed this. I know, it’s shocking! (haha) But we must hold ourselves accountable. Minimizing our own sins in comparison holds no ground and is not what God had in mind.
“Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” – Ecclesiastes 7:21
Look at them through God’s eyes
John 2:25 states that Jesus knew what was in man. He knew human nature. Noone’s actions surprised Him, not even when they betrayed Him. Even after Peter denied Him 3 times…He STILL was merciful. Even in our sinful state…God chose us. Knowing full well that we would deny & crucify Him, He came for us anyway. What did He see in us that moved Him to be so selfless and loving in the face of our sin? His nature is love. He can’t help BUT to love us. So we must use look others from the His point of view. James 3:9 states that we curse those made in God’s likeness. The unlovables are still creations of our God…and loved by Him just as much as we are. If He loves them, who are we not to?
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:32
Yield to the Holy Spirit and surrender
As I was walking through my house yesterday, the Holy Spirit highlighted a phrase from a sign on my walls:
This sign has been up since the week we moved in, but it was so confirming for me, considering last week this was the focus (abiding in Love). Since God is love, I translate it to “Let God abide.” But what sticks out to me in this is the word ‘Let’. Loving the way God does not come easy, nor can we do it ourselves. It means making room for Him to love through us. It means surrendering & yielding to Him so that His love can flow. It means letting Him take over.
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” – Luke 6:27
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8