Read John 5, 8, 9
It is really easy to love family because we know and trust them. It’s easy to love friends. It’s not too hard either to love those we work close with. It’s easy to love them because we know they will love us back.
But what about that person who judges us for our appearance or decides they hate us before they even try to get to know us? Can we love them? What about that person who brings out the worst in us, who makes us angry or is constantly trying to pick fights with us? Can we love them?
I think we want to believe that we would love them if we were in such a situation. Yet, when it comes around we tend to avoid the very person who just might need love. We don’t want to get hurt so we don’t talk to them. We don’t want to argue so we ignore them. We don’t want to feel hated so we stick with those who will love us.
Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is probably one of the hardest things to do. It can seem be hard on our self-image especially if we let like their rude comments and actions get to us. It can seem like we aren’t getting anywhere by loving them, like it isn’t making any difference.
But let me ask you this:
Does Jesus love them?
Of course He does! He loves everyone!
Does that mean we need to love them?
Yes, if Jesus loves everyone we need to love everyone.
Or think about it this way. Are we, ourselves, worthy to be loved by God? How many times have we sinned? How many times have we done the same thing to another person? Our sins aren’t any better than the next person. If God can forgive us our sins, He will also forgive those who sin against us. We need to forgive those who sin against us, put those transgressions behind us and learn to love.
Furthermore, we can’t worry about our self-image or how our actions of loving someone who brings people down comes across. We need to do the right thing: forgive and love. Do you think Jesus cared about how he looked when he healed the lame man (John 5) or the blind man on the Sabbath (John 9). He knew the Pharisees wouldn’t like it but He did it anyway because showing love and grace to these men was the right thing. Do you think Jesus cared how he looked when he stopped the adulterous woman (John 8) from being stoned? Everyone looked down on this woman but Jesus showed her love.
Hosea was an admirable man in this aspect. He married Gomer and continued to lover her even when she was unfaithful to him. God had asked Hosea to love Gomer and he did because it was right.
Love is right. It should be our first response not an afterthought.