I Love You, But...
Posted on Feb 22, 2022 by Jenny Bender
Let’s be completely real & honest: we all have people in our circles who just aren't easy to like. Of course, we know that we need to love others, because...well, Jesus said we should. So, we usually preface every statement with "I love them," before throwing in a condition or complaint about that person. “I love them, BUT they’re irritating. I love them, BUT they just get on my last nerve. I love them, BUT...” You get the picture (and you’re probably picturing a particular person’s face as you read that.)
Unlikeable people are hard to love, and a lot of us are probably uncomfortable (I know I sure am) admitting that we don’t always love the unlikeable as easily & effortlessly as Jesus did.
Unlikeable people are nothing new; they’re present all throughout the Bible. And yet, time after time, we see how God loves EVERYONE – likeable or not. He continued to love and lead the Israelites to the land He promised them, even when they betrayed Him and worshipped the gods that they had left behind in Egypt. (Exodus 32)
Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they threw him in a well and sold him into slavery. (Genesis 37) By human standards, Joseph had every reason not to like his brothers. Instead, when the tables were turned and Joseph was reunited with his brothers many years later, he chose to show them love, despite their unlikableness. (Genesis 50)
Then, of course, there’s Jesus. His love for the unlikable is our ultimate example of how to love people, no ifs, ands or buts. The tax collector, the woman caught in adultery, the thief on the cross...and you & me. The list of things that make me unlikeable is far too long to write out here. And yet, Jesus still chose to die for me, to forgive me and love me – and He loves, forgives, and died for you, too! That’s a wonderful truth, and here’s another wonderful truth that really puts things in perspective for me: He did all of those things for our worst enemies, too.
Now, let’s rewind a little. Picture that unlikeable person who first came to your mind at the beginning of this page. Think of how much that person is loved & treasured by Jesus, and ask Him to help you love them like He does. Thank God for putting that person in your circle – yes, THANK Him! Why? Because that person is a reminder that God loves each of us, even when we’re not likeable. It’s also an opportunity to show the true, unconditional love & compassion of Jesus. Hurt people hurt people, and when we allow the fruits of the Holy Spirit to work through us, we’ll see His healing power in some pretty extraordinary & unexpected ways.
When we re-condition our hearts & minds to be more like Jesus, we won’t look at others the same. Instead of seeing someone unlikeable, we’ll see someone who’s loved by Jesus and is precious in His sight – and THAT’S when we begin to truly love like Jesus, no ifs ands or buts...just I love you. Period.
~ Jenny Bender
Robert Steven Szocinski:
Feb 24, 2022 at 07:55 PM
Thank you, for the information. It is hard to love someone who has hurt you.
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