For me, the hardest of the commandments to keep, is love. I thank the Lord Jesus for giving me the Holy Spirit so that I could bear its fruit, no. 1 of which is love.
There are great and instant rewards in love, maybe that’s why it is not an easy thing to do. We cannot love just the way we want to, but there are standards to follow.
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a PURE heart, from a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and from SINCERE faith. ( 1 Tim. 1:5, emphasis added)
There are so many passages in the Bible that teach us love. But it is only in our own experiences that we really LEARN it. It is a long, continuous, and sometimes painful, process.
I intended this discussion to be in a lighter note. I want to talk about loving people who, most often than not, make the effort to be unlovable. I’m not talking about those people who persecute us on our faith and devotion to Jesus, for we’ve been given grace to have a deep compassion and understanding for the lost, for they know not what they do. I’m not even talking about those who sometimes get on our nerves, who irritate and provoke us, for they are a test to our patience which is an entirely different subject matter.
But I’m talking about those we call friends, or those we’ve considered ”family”, and that have known Jesus. Maybe they have hurt us deeply in the past, but we’ve completely forgiven them and have forgotten the things they had done when we received Jesus in our lives. So we showed them God’s goodness and did them good. But what do they do in return? For unknowable reasons, they hurt us again. They don’t want to listen; they just walk out on us, and forget about us (or so it seems). No hint of gratitude, or warmth, or friendship, or humility… They just leave us baffled, hurt, and bring heaviness in our hearts everytime we think of them. Didn’t David write about them?
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has EXALTED himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you,… my companion and my acquaintance. ( Psalm 55:12-13, emphasis added )
Here’s my helpful counsel that worked for me:
- We must not weary ourselves in analyzing them. If we do, we might be tempted to make judgments.
- We must not spend too much time thinking about them and what they had done. If we do, we’re just reliving the hurt and empowering strong and negative emotions which are not profitable.
…whatever things are true, whatever things are NOBLE, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are LOVELY, whatever things are of GOOD REPORT, if there is any VIRTUE and if there is anything PRAISEWORTHY – MEDITATE on these things. (Phil. 4:8, emphasis added)
- The BEST thing to do is PRAY. Pray for grace to completely forgive the person(s) even without them asking for forgiveness or apology. Pray for grace to completely forget what they had done. Pray that God will replace any resentment with love. Pray that He will INCREASE our love. AND, pray that He will enlighten them.
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet. 4:8)
- Take this challenge as a great privilege to be called by the Lord Jesus to walk the HIGHER GROUND: to choose forgiveness and love.
This is My commandment, that you love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. (John 15:12)
There’s a qualifying phrase: as Jesus has loved us. Unconditionally. Let us meditate on that now.