Trying to Love People
By Peter Lundell –
I’m trying to love bad people. It’s hard, and I often fail.
I’m trying love people of other religions, even the terrorists. It’s so hard, and I often fail.
I’m trying to love adulterers, drug addicts, thieves, murderers, cheaters, liars, perverts, and child abusers. O Lord, it’s hard, and I usually fail.
I’m also trying to love Christians who don’t act like Christians. Sometimes that’s been me.
I don’t like loving all these people. It’s easier to scorn them, justify myself, and pretend it’s okay for me to be this way. It’s easier to simply be religious, which is why many people are.
But I keep running into Jesus. He will judge those people; I don’t have to. Instead he insists that I love all people with the love of God—irritating people, disgusting people, and people who are enemies to me.
Many Christians get angry about people they do not like. I don’t blame them. But if we’re truly followers of Jesus, He won’t exempt us. He insists we love others, including our enemies. For that we need the grace of God.
Jesus can be difficult to follow. We love Him because He loves us so much, but He also loves those who are easy to despise. Thankfully, we have testimonies of many persecuted churches to inspire us to love those who hate us.
None of this means that people who do bad things are okay. It means that while we’re alive on this earth, we love people with the love of God. We do not love because others deserve it but because of who we are.
Imagine what would happen if large numbers of Christians did this. The whole world would turn upside down.
That’s exactly what Jesus intended.
PRAYER: “Jesus, work in me to love people, especially when it’s hard. I open my heart to Your Spirit to form me more in Your image that I may step beyond myself to love with Your love.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34 – 35 NIV).