There are just some people who seem difficult to love. I guess we have a choice: we can choose to love them or to not love them. So often, I wonder if we end up taking the route of the religious leader who asked Jesus to clarify who his neighbors were. That somehow, Jesus would say that those people who we try to stay away from don’t count–we don’t need to love them. We say it all the time, “I have to love you, but I don’t have to like you.” Maybe what we are really saying is I will not communicate my lack of love for you outwardly, but I will try to avoid and ignore you. Jesus says that we are to love our friends and our enemies. Jesus says the question is not who our neighbor is, but are we neighbors. Jesus points out that we are to be a neighbor to any person, regardless of race or religion, with whom we live or may ever cross paths with.
Do you want to test your love for someone who is hard to love? Hold yourself over 1 Corinthians 13 as it relates to you and that person.
I am patient with _____________
I am kind toward _____________
I am not possessive or jealous of ______________
I am not proud, boastful, or condescending toward _____________
I am seeking _______________ interests before my own
I am not easily angered by _________________
I do not keep track of ______________ wrongs or become resentful of _______________
I am never glad about injustice in ______________ life
I rejoice whenever the truth wins out in ____________ life
I never give up on ____________________
I never lose faith in ________________ and what God can do in ________________
I always trust ________________
I am always hopeful for __________________
I endure through every circumstance with _________________
I don’t know about you, but after doing this, I need to spend some time on my knees in repentance to a God who does all this for me and calls me to do the same for others. God help me to love like you do.