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Loving the Hard-to-Love

How can I love people well, even when they’re not very loveable? That is a question I am frequently asked and I want to share with you some ideas that help me in the process—and let me assure you, it is a process. Don’t expect to do it well from the get go, but commit to receive grace as you learn (and have grace for others as they learn).

When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He left His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We are the temple where He abides (no longer the tabernacle or the synagogue). Each one of us carries a fraction of His glory. A nurse, just doing her job, expresses the glory of God as healer. A waiter, doing his job, expresses the glory of God as a servant with hospitality. When it is difficult to love someone in our proximity, consider this: What part of God’s glory is that person carrying around? How can I honor the Lord by honoring this person? What role does this person have in the body of Christ? How can I call it out in them?

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.

When a man found it, he hid it again,

and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.

When he found one of great value,

he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

Matthew 13:44-45

Each person we encounter, regardless of how loveable they are, is that pearl. They were bought at a great price (Jesus’ blood). If we understand God’s great love for His people, that He loves all of us, that He’s not willing for any to perish, we will begin to adopt that mindset for the people around us too. Ask God to give you His heart for His people. He loves to answer that prayer.