We all face difficult relationships, even the best of relationships can be strained. God calls us to love, but let's face it, that can be very challenging especially when we don't agree with someone. So how do we love one another when we are feeling angry, hurt, betrayed, or mistreated? Our natural reaction is to withdraw, lash out, get even, and prove ourselves right at all cost.
So how do we love well? Let's look at this command, God tell us to love one another, but the next few words give us the reason/ formula for succeeding in it. When we understand our fallen human nature, we know it is impossible to love all people. When we add God to the equation the impossible becomes possible. "As I have loved you" Have you ever thought about that statement? How many times have we disappointed, hurt, betrayed, lied, ignored, and sinned against God? Yet God loved us so much that he gave His only Son over to death in order to save us from the penalty of our sin, and offering us eternal life with Him.(John 3:16)
We have got to be extremely challenging to love, self absorbed as we are. God does love us though, and unconditionally at that. He wants to have relationship with each one of us. He wants to share with us His best, He wants to rejoice with us and comfort us. He desires to breath good things into our lives. That's God's love.
You are probably thinking right now, yeah right...I could never love like that! Well you are right. By ourselves we would never be able to love like that. It is only by looking at people through God's eyes that we are able to love as God loves. When we realize how God sees us, as we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, then we are able to see others, understanding that we ourselves must be awfully hard to love sometimes as well. By looking at a person as a fellow traveler in the journey of life, struggling with many of the same things we are, we can have compassion because we know the difficulties met along the way. We can put our selves in their shoes because we will be there or have been there. God's love is not a self centered love, it is not self serving but other serving.
Meditate today on the words "as I have loved you." Thank God for loving you that much, and ask Him to show you how He sees you. Then ask for Him to show you the best way to love the difficult person in your life.
God does not leave us alone to figure out how to love well, He invites us to Him, to learn His ways. He listens when we cry out to Him in frustration and He provides the grace and answers to the question How? If God calls us to do something He will see us through it.
Why is it so important to love others well?
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35
Learning to love well is important for the body of Christ to function properly. We are Gods hands and feet here on earth, and the purpose of His body is to draw others to Him. We are a reflection to others of His love. That is why learning to love as He loves us is so important.
As we seek God, He will equip us with His eyes and power to love as He does.