Loving God, Loving Others
Love One Another - Is It Easy?
When God gave His son, Jesus, to die for our sins, His sacrificial love was for the whole world - for everyone. He did not choose who to love and who not to love. God loves us so much and He wants us to love Him in return. But loving God means loving others, too.
We have to admit that when we hear the words "Love one another", we only love those who are lovable. We exclude the person who really annoys us and who doesn't pass the standards of our "Love button". Don't say that you are not capable of loving even the most horrible person because you are. You are created by a loving God and love is in your being. You only have to act on it.
I know most of us can love almost everybody but I'd like to focus on two types of people we have difficulty loving.
Love Your Neighbors (As You Love Yourself)
"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." - Luke 10:27 (KJV)
Of course, you do love yourself. How you love yourself should be the way you love your neighbor. Unless you get annoyed with yourself and hated the way you are - the way you look, the way you feel or hate the things you do - then that's another story. If you don't feel good the way you are, or hate yourself for some reason, then you have to forgive yourself and know that there is Someone up there who loves you so much no matter what.
Back to loving your neighbor as you love yourself, we all do have neighbors. Loving our neighbors doesn't necessarily mean the people living around us or those who are in the neighborhood.
Our neighbors are the people within our reach, whether we like them or not. They may be our actual neighbors. Loving our neighbors means living the golden rule which is to "Do to others as you would have them do to you." - Luke 6:31 (NIV)
It's not an easy task loving our neighbors because there will always be those who are annoying, disrespectful or just simply people who think ill of you. But Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors just as we love ourselves. Besides, we cannot say that we love God if we cannot love our neighbors.
Love Your Enemies
This is the most difficult thing to do - loving your enemies! Do we have lots of enemies? Why? Some people became our enemies for so many reasons. Perhaps because of betrayal between you and someone dear to you, or feuds between families, or you simply hate that person so much. But most have enemies because they want to avenge themselves because of the wrongs that were done to them. It is natural for us to seek revenge and repay evil to those who did us evil. Again, forgiving and loving our enemies are difficult things to do and almost impossible to happen. We need to surrender to God all the anger, bitterness, pain, and hatred we have against those who have wronged us in order for us to find peace and then start loving our enemies.
Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (KJV)
Romans 12:20 - "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Forgiving and loving our enemies are already difficult for us to do, and yet we have to feed them if they're hungry and give them drink if they are thirsty. It takes a superhuman effort to do them, don't you think? Human nature says "Why would I care?", Serves him right!", and many more hurtful words that come from our mouth. But Jesus while in His human life was able to demonstrate love to His enemies. We could, too, not with our own capacity but with God's help if we ask Him.
When we forgive and love our enemies, one step of kindness towards them begins. That one step leads to one after another until such time that you have become friends with your enemies. Such a heavy weight being lifted from our hearts if we accomplish that!
Loving the unlovable person, an enemy or neighbor, is a tough thing to do The Bible commanded us to love one another because without love, what would this world be like? With all the dangers and terrible things happening everywhere, loving one another can make the world a better place.
Two things we can do to make it easier for us to love:
- It is better to focus on the nice things about that person even if there are few. Finding faults and counting them never help us love that person.
- Think what we can do for that person to make his life happier. Doing kind things to him not only makes him happier but you, as well.