“By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
I have made many important discoveries and learned many valuable lessons in the course of my nearly 80 years.
I could write about my days of agnosticism when as a happy pagan I finally heard the Good News for the first time and fell in love with Jesus Christ. I could have told about the days when I first experienced the reality of the person of the Holy Spirit. I could share my discovery of how to introduce others to Christ as a way of life, or my realization that everybody hungers for God, even so-called atheists, because God created us that way. (Romans 1:19, 20)
However, having considered all of these possibilities, [the greatest lesson I ever learned is how to] love people who sometimes are difficult to love.
Why is this lesson important to me? Because God places a very strong emphasis on love in His Word. In fact, our Lord teaches us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind’ and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle Paul, that no matter what else we might accomplish in life, regardless of what we may contribute that is good and commendable, apart from love, it is of no value whatsoever.
In one instance, I was having difficulty loving a fellow staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ. But the Lord reminded me of 1 Peter 5:7, “Let him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” (TLB). When I claimed God’s love for the man, by faith, my concern lifted. This man and I met later that afternoon and had the most wonderful time of prayer and fellowship we had ever experienced together. Loving with God’s love, by faith, had changed our relationship.
Perhaps you have been in a similar situation and wondered, “How can I really love that person?” I encourage you to make a list of those whom you don’t like and begin to love them by faith. Confess any wrong attitudes you may have about them. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s love for each of them. Then seek to meet with them as you draw upon God’s limitless, inexhaustible, overwhelming love for them by faith. You will discover, as I have, that we can never run out of opportunities to love by faith.
Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:6
Today’s Action Point: Commit to examining your relationships, asking the Lord who you need to express His love for. Take time to pray for that person, and your own attitude about them. Then contact them, and let them know you are praying for them.