I know from years of creative writing classes that strong titles are 5 words or fewer, but I thought I’d save us both a few seconds and get to the point of this post.
It’s hard to love unlovely people, right? Really hard. It’s hard enough loving lovely people who are being unlovely. (Sally sells seashells, anyone?)
The point is–love ain’t easy.
In recent years I’ve felt the burden–or perhaps accepted the challenge–to love people more. This world is, by and large, a loveless place. Sure, pockets of people love wholeheartedly, but our current culture wars rage against a default of compassion. We are (or at least I am) wired to be skeptical around people who have not earned my trust. And if you’ve broken it?–fuhgeddaboudit.
In an attempt to love people better, I’ve learned many helpful maxims–
You catch more bees with honey, or Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
But there are days I don’t care about catching any bees, and sometimes I’m sure my battle is bigger than the person who is being a jerk. The sentiments are nice, but not enough.
Recently I was reading John 13:34 where it says, “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (ESV). And it struck me as strange that the text didn’t say, “Just as I have loved them, so you should love them.” What a difference this choice of wording makes! Instead of being instructed to mimic, I am motivated to reciprocate. Because I am loved, I will love.
So what is the one thought that has revolutionized my view of people?
If God loved me to the degree that I love [person’s name], would it be enough?
Let’s be honest. I’ll never love anyone as much as God has loved me.
But maybe that’s the point.