People can be hard work. There’s a reason loving them ranks in God’s top two. The challenge comes when you encounter people who repeatedly push you beyond what you believe is lovingly possible.
What are you to do?
Oh how blessed and fortunate when God shows up and confronts the limits of our love with the endlessness of His. What a day of liberation when He miraculously resets our capacity so we can love a seemingly unlovable somebody. Praise God that because of Jesus Christ, God loves beyond all that is unlovable in us. It’s extraordinary to consider we can reflect love with the length, depth, width, and height of His.
Open your heart.
You can do this – open your heart to the Truth. By the power of the Holy Spirit you have all you need to accomplish what God commands. What’s causing you to shut down when you’re around certain people? Be as specific as you can. Discover exactly what the enemy is using to trip you up and take a stand against it!
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ~ Matthew 5:46-48
Let grace flow – freely.
Forgive whatever rubs you the wrong way. Let. It. Go. It will free you and release more than enough GRACE for the moment. You’ve been forgiven and now it’s your turn to pay it forward. God will replace personality obstacles with a super-sized dose of His wholly unmerited love. Just ask Him.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3: 13
Speak kind words.
Verbalize a positive comment regarding someone known to speak unkindly of you. Do it even if those around you are prone to defend or justify you feeling otherwise. Be the unexpected advocate. Generously give the benefit of the doubt.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel. ~ Philippians 1:27
Seek to serve.
Look for an opportunity to offer assistance an unlovable somebody in your life. Use doing a good deed as a means to manifest love. Give the gift of your time, talent, or resources. Experience how serving creates a right heart and signals a restored unity in your relationships.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~ Colossians 3:23.24
Pray for them.
And finally, remember nothing cultivates love faster than when you pray diligently on behalf of others. Submit a prayer of thanksgiving and request a blessing for them. It’s impossible to whisper someone’s name before the throne of grace and not be divinely changed because you did.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ~ John 17:20-23
What are some other ways you can get your heart in shape to love a seemingly unlovable somebody in your life?
So powerful and full of truth! I’m constantly reminded how we are called to do such simple things for the Lord-yet these are the things that are radically life-changing and God-honoring! Another way to get our hearts in shape to love others is to “give fully”. Do something that is a physical reminder that we are not our own, and our possessions are not are own. When we give, we are reminded that “we love because He first loved us.”
Today, I’m opening my heart and letting grace flow freely!
What a good word Gretchen. I love what it means to ‘fully’ give. I immediately think of my time and attention. When I fully give it to someone it is a wonderful display of my love for them. My actions let’s them know they are important and I value them.
Thanks for adding to the conversation. You inspire me!
Great word, Tami! Thanks for sharing the sometimes difficult yet life transforming truth of loving like Jesus loves. I’m thankful He loves me even when I am unloveable!
Me too Julie – every day I stand amazed.
God is Good.
Hi Diane, have you ever heard of the book Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard? It’s a classic and I’d hhilgy recommend it if you have the chance. This scripture reminds me of this wonderful book.