Love is a four letter word we so easily toss around to our family, best friendships, and significant others. But when it comes to those outside of our inner-circle, we often cannot fathom saying such a thing to those whom do not have as great of an impact on us. So how do we change that? Let’s start by answering some hard questions.
What is love anyway?
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has not pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth“. – 1 John 3:16-18
But how can I love someone who doesn’t “love me”?
How can you not? Look at our hurting city. We need God-fearing individuals, like YOU, to show love to those who consider themselves to be worthless and not worth loving. Glance around you, how can you LOVE outsiders today?
- Read God’s word
- Realize that you yourself are unlovable at times
- See them through God’s perspective
Why would I love that person? He is so…..
When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has/can change them. Consider Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. This demonstrates to us that God loves us in spite of our brokenness. He constantly pursues us, longs for our relationship, and delights in our reverence. As a result of this encounter, only an individual similar to the Samaritan woman, an outcast, would comprehend what it means to be desired, to be cared for when no one else, not even herself, could appreciate anything of value in her – this is grace.
I love my “inner-circle”, isn’t that enough?
No, did Jesus only love His disciples?
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:32
We aren’t called to “kind-of like” or, my personal favorite, “I don’t hate them, but…” those we work with, pass on the street, or make eye-contact with. We are called to (truly and honestly) love them: verbally, physically, and mentally. Remember, you are so loved by God and we need to show others that same love.
“God has seen our unloveliness – the deep brokenness and rebellion in our hearts – and instead of withdrawing, He pursues us to the very end.”
– Matt Chandler
(Written by Kim: a fashionista, coffee addict, avid blog-reader, and dear friend to Angela. Kim loves Jesus, Disneyland, her boyfriend Michael, and is eagerly looking forward to finishing her Masters Degree in Business.)