“Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those that love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:44-46 ESV)
Isn’t it so easy to love those who are lovable? We can all do that, but what is hard is to love the unlovable. Often, life sends us a curve ball in the form of a very difficult person. There are people who cross my path and challenge me with rude, insensitive, self-centered, and downright hateful attitudes, but God’s word challenges me to love them anyway. There are certainly times in our lives when we feel mistreated and attacked, but I believe that sometimes God places these individuals in our lives as an opportunity to trust Him and go against our natural inclination to respond back with an eye-for-an-eye response. I like to believe that (most!) people will begin to react differently toward you and approach you with the same attitude, respect and love that you give to them. You might just be the turning point in someone’s life who seems at first to be unlovable.
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” (G. K. Chesterton)
I think one of the surest kinds of strength is keeping the “Golden Rule” in mind; treat others as you want to be treated regardless of how they have treated you. Jesus’ solution for dealing with people who wanted to hurt Him was to pray for them. Prayer is the most effective way to gain the wisdom and strength to follow through with a task such as this. We need to show those hard to love people how much we love them, and how much God loves them. God loves them in spite of their actions because He sees beyond the surface and loves the person He made in His own image.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)Who are those people in your life that you need to show yours and God’s love to? :)