On my way to work this morning I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations..
The bit that the host was discussing at the time was about love. She went on about how as Christians we are called to love. However, just loving those who are always around us and that we love being around doesn’t cut it.
Everyone has people around them who they love being around.
And that’s great. I’m glad that you love the people that you are surrounded with. If not that could be a problem.
If you really knew me you would know that I love people.
I love my family, my friends, my church, my teams… I have many groups of people that I love being around and I try my very best to schedule out my time to ensure that I am investing in almost every one of my friends weekly even if it’s just with a text message or a simple smile and how are you when we walk by each other when the school year gets crazy.
But that’s just not it.
God called us to love our enemies.
We tend to have two groups of people in our lives.
- Those we love to be around
- Those we don’t want to be around
I often categorize these people in my life into two bubbles. I have one bubble of people where I always want to be in it. I want to be around them, talk with them, hang out with them, etc. Then I put another group of people in a bubble where I want nothing to do with them. My “enemies”. I do whatever is possible to not enter that bubble. I don’t want to talk with them. I don’t want to be associated with them. Nothing. This isn’t how things are suppose to be. God didn’t call us to do this. God didn’t call us to shun these people.
God called us to love our enemies.
- God called us to love the people that get under our skin
- God called us to love the people who annoy us
- God called us to love the people that we disagree with
- God called us to love the people who hurt us
- God called us to love the people who we don’t want to forgive
- God called us to love the people who betrayed us
- God called us to love the people who lied to us
- God called us to love the people who drive us nuts
- God called us to love the people that seem inhumane
- God called us to love the people that steal
- God called us to love the people that disrespect us
- God called us to love the people who hate us
As Christians our call is to love.
We were created for love, to be love, and to show love.
How often do we think about the list of people above? Majority of us think that we love people, but not those people.
- I love my parents
- I love my school
- I love my friends
- I love my dog
- I love my new smart phone
- I love my new apple watch
- I love pizza
This wasn’t exactly what God was referring to when we gave us our calling.
Personally, I find this very difficult.
Loving those people
One of my most biggest struggles is giving second chances and forgiveness. There are often times when I may see someone and I will personally go the other way because I am distraught by how a certain person treated me or my friends. I have a tendency to look the other way because I don’t want to deal with them. I’m tired of their character, immaturity, or attitude.
I’ll often think,
God I don’t want to love those people!
They’re so rude!
How can I love someone so much if they betrayed me?
They don’t deserve my friendship anymore.
I don’t want to be associated with anyone that’s involved with ‘that stuff’
It’s not worth my time trying.
I’m not giving out anymore second chances.
What if they mess this up again?
I’m tired of putting so much into someone where I barely get anything back.
I’m just done.
Then somehow God picks me up from ‘Brookeland’ and brings me back to reality. And I remember all the times that I have continuously screwed up and how God still forgives me and loves me anyways. He has given me an extended amount of ‘second chances’ and never grows tired of bringing me back home again.
This is something that I’m working on.
For anyone it’s so easy to gossip,
I’m not perfect and I know that I can be doing way better than my current performance on this. I know that a lot of others are struggling with the same battle. I also know that there are plenty of people doing a lot worse than I am in the same if not more areas. However,this doesn’t make us any different.
Remember that short verses that you may have went over during VBS when you were little? Let’s take another look at it.
1 John 4:19 New Living Translation (NLT)
19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.
The next time you come in contact with someone that you know that you are not the closest with, are not on the best terms with, or (lets be honest) you just can’t stand them remind yourself of this. If you need some more encouragement and light from the Word take a look at these-
Luke 6:35 New Living Translation (NLT)
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
Ephesians 4:32 New Living Translation (NLT)
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Luke 6:27 New Living Translation (NLT)
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.
God wants to love, forgive, and to have a relationship with us and because of that we need to strive every day to love, forgive, and reach out to everyone in our lives as well including those we don’t get along the best with.
Mark 11:25 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.[a]”
This is a constant reminder.
This is our calling.
Love Our Enemies.