God understands that loving others isn’t always easy.
- Posted on Aug 16, 2013
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). It sounds so simple, but it’s the biggest challenge we face. Not everyone is easy to love. A friend complained the other day, “My boss should have been a porcupine. She prickles at every little thing!” But every encounter we have with another member of God’s creation gives us new opportunities to draw closer to Him.
My friend doesn’t have to be fond of her “porcupine” to love her. Biblical love is about compassion, about what we do and how we treat others. “If you love me, you will obey what I command,” Jesus tells us (John 14:15). “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). Fortunately, God understands that loving others isn’t always easy. He stands right behind us, giving us all the support we need. When we don’t know how to love, He who is love can teach us how to win against fear, anger and hate.
Prickly people like my friend’s boss bring out a lot of surprising feelings in us. Anger, frustration, envy and resentment are just a few of the things that get in the way of living out our faith. Experts tell us not to ignore these feelings, or our neglected emotions will fester in a dark corner of our hearts. We need to acknowledge how we feel—and then let go of our feelings and move on.
No matter how difficult others may be, we’re responsible for how we act and react. Jesus tells us to pluck the plank from our own eye before we focus on the sawdust elsewhere (Matthew 7:3). But what if all we can see is sawdust? How can we see the plank? My quick ‘vision test’ of what’s in my heart is to turn to 1 Corinthians 13:
None of us wants to see our own faults...especially when we think 99 percent of the blame lies with someone else. But that’s what Christ asks of us. Humility is the first step we have to take if we’re going to love others as Christ loved us.