There are so many different kinds of love. The kind that you see in chick flicks, the kind that we want in a marriage or a relationship, the kind that a father or mother has for their child, the kind that God has for us in His relationship with us. The kind that I think is the hardest, though, is the kind that God expects us to give to those that are so very hard to love. You could even say the love we must feel for our enemies. This is the lesson that I feel I have been taught, somewhat reluctantly, this semester.
I think that it is really easy for us to say that we love people but it is so much harder for us to carry out on a regular basis. Think about it- I mean, we choose ourselves over others on a daily basis, not giving grace where it is meant to be given because we are okay with having the power (and the burden) of a grudge, complaining about someone who we know nothing about because it gives us a good feeling to look better at someone else’s expense, not talking to a certain person because we are more interested in how many views our Snapchat story has. The list goes on. We are an innately selfish species, and to love others is hard enough, but to love those who don’t want to be loved or care about our love is much, much harder.
I have to be constantly reminded that God gave up His ONLY SON for us, His enemies, because He loved us all so unconditionally. All I am asked to do is show love in little ways- whether it is listening to someone, having a conversation that is hard, being there for someone that I don’t want to see or forgiving someone who has hurt me. This is so hard for an essentially selfish person, but when you try to do God’s will and love, God will open your eyes to see parts of people that were originally hidden to selfish and unwilling-to-see eyes. This could mean that your eyes are opened to the hurts that makes someone the way they are, or to the insecurities and fears that drive people to do what they do that seem so senseless.
This power of seeing the unseen part of people is such a huge responsibility, but it is also a gift from Jesus that is to be treasured and that helps you understand your ministry and your calling on a much deeper level, because God has given you the eyes to see what He sees in a person: a broken, lost spirit that yearns for the unconditional love and mind-blowing peace of a Savior who understands their very core because He created them. This is not something that we can provide, but it is something that we can point to. We can show people through our love and our actions the Savior of the World that everyone searches for, whether or not they realize it.
This may not seem like a love story, but it is. Loving those that are unlovable to us is our way of continuing the love story of Christ for the world. We are called to be Christ to those that are lost. So the next time that you find yourself struggling to love someone, remember that they also have their struggles, and that you are not there to change them, but to show them how God has changed you.
Love unconditionally. That is the pure, simple calling that we will be perfecting for the rest of our lives. But man, is it worth it.