We’ve all heard people say (or said it ourselves) that we love someone because of their relationship to us. Brother, sister, parent, child. We end that statement with the fact we don’t enjoy them. It sounds something like this: “I love Zoe because she’s my daughter, but I don’t really like her.” Don’t get me wrong here, I may not have said this out loud, but I’ve thought it before.
Jesus didn’t tell us to love our neighbors and not really have to like them. It kind of seems like an oxy moron to me. I also understand that love is more than just a word. It’s an action. It’s something we do. I suppose we can ‘do’ something for our neighbor without really liking them. However, then, the motive of the heart comes into play. To which, I cannot be the judge. I do know my own heart though.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” Galatians 5.13-15
So, how do we manage this one? How do we truly like and love our neighbors, our children, the people we go to church with, that lady in the grocery store who is being obnoxious? That one person we don’t want to stop us and talk to us? How do we love the way Jesus loves?
Again, I don’t have it figured out. I wish I had some great answers for this one. I’m not really sure if anyone has this one completely, 100% down, 100% of the time. If you do, I’d love to hear from you. Maybe it is my critical spirit that hinders me from seeing the best in people. Maybe it’s been the hurt in my life that keeps me from trusting people too much. Maybe it is my over protectiveness of my children that keeps me from letting them get to close to other children.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
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