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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When You Just Can't Love Someone

Each of us knows someone who is hard to love. It may be that this person hurt you. It may be that they continue to abuse you verbally. It may be that you are struggling to forgive him for something that was done because the hurt was so bad. In fact, it was so bad that is still hurts.

But God doesn't give us a pass on loving this person simply because he or she is so hard to love. This is the very person who may define that you really know God.

Jesus said that it is no big deal to love those who love you.

Matthew 5:46 (ESV) 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

John said that our love for others is a necessary element of our salvation.

1 John 4:7 (ESV) 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Paul said that all the commandments are summarized in loving others.

Romans 13:10 (ESV) 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

There are many other passages that speak of love but it is clear that love is necessary if we know Jesus as Savior. It is the means others know we are His disciples. It is the identifying trait of every believer.

So, what do you do when you can't love someone. I use the word "can't" because it feels that way. The effort you put into it is extinguished when the person continues to hurt ot annoy you. You pick yourself up again, commit yourself to loving this person and find yourself wishing that God would take them out of the world before long because you simply cannot love even though you know love is required.

I am no advocate of abuse. I don't believe you must put yourself in an abusive situation in order to prove your love. Some love must be exercised at a distance. In other words, I would not recommend that a woman stay in the home with a husband who continues to physically abuse her. I would tell her that she must love him.

Loving some people takes a strength that is not native to our humanity. All that exists in our humanity demands revenge. We want to have our day of triumph over this person. We want to see them suffer as they have made us suffer. This is natural. God did not ask us to be natural.

Loving some people requires that we abandon ourselves to the One who inhabits the Christian. We must take on the character of God as He did in sending Jesus into the world. We must love some people even when they are opposed to us.

Romans 5:8 (ESV) 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Please realize: You are not asking for an ability. You are asking for a miracle. The presence of Christ must be so strongly in you that you take on His character of love. Remember how far He took this love.

So, maybe you can't love some people. That's okay. He, therefore, must love them through you. He must make that change in you so that love exists where it shouldn't exist.

Loving some people is the evidence of a crucified life. It is not only turning over a difficult relationship to the Lord, but turning over everything to the Lord. It is truly saying that you can't but He can.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The hardest part of this is not loving the person who is hard to love. It is realizing that tomorrow you pick up the cross that will result in your crucifixion and live the crucified life again. This is never completed while we exist on this earth. We are continually being worked on by Him. We are continually having to recognize our weaknesses and being crucified to ourselves.

Some difficult people are impossible for us to love on our own. We must fully know what it is to say, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Some people think that their testimony comes from the great steps of faith they have taken. They think it comes from seeing God provide a truck load of money or heal someone who is terminally ill. That is simply not the means of identification that Jesus gave for those who are His.

He said we must love. . . especially those who are hard to love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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