So, last week I talked about what it means to truly love God. Well…love seems to be the theme on my mind this week so I want to talk about something else that relates to love. Something that can be just as hard or maybe even harder than loving God.
Yep. Loving the people around you. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. Even those people around the world that you don’t even know exist. We’re supposed to love them.
And it’s hard.
It can be so much more easier to love God, because you know of the sacrifice His Son made for you. It can be so much more easier to love those who love you back, because you feel like they deserve it, right? It might even be easier to love a stranger who you don’t know than someone that you see everyday. It feels that way to me sometimes.
Because sometimes the people I see everyday, I argue with, I fight with, and I just get plain frustrated with. And it can seem a whole lot easier to love a stranger than someone whom I see and I know better.
As hard as it is for me to love those that I see everyday, how much harder is it to love those that are physically hurting us? How hard is it for us to love those who hate God and who hate us because we’re associated with God?
Most of us, probably have been in such a situation as to be tortured for what we believe. We haven’t been tested like that.
But if we were stuck in such a situation, would we be able to live up to the standards that Jesus has set for us?
Matthew 5:44, 46-47
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends,how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
And I know. I KNOW. Loving people is easier said than done. It’s a lot easier said than done.
But God deserves our devotion. That devotion is manifested in glorifying Him, through whatever we do.
When we give our lives for Him, we’re making a covenant with God. One that’s everlasting. This covenant includes following the example that God has set before us. One that includes loving others, even those who do not love us back.
It’s something that we must learn to do if we’re to really grow in our faith. Love is one of the most important of Jesus’ commands.
But loving others means more than just loving them.
It also means the willingness to point out each other’s sins. It means the willingness to stand up to your friends, your brothers and sisters in Christ.
If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
But you can only truly help others grow in their faith, if you first earn their respect and love by showing them the love that God has shown you.
But it all starts with showing others, no matter how hard it is, God’s love.