How well do you love? Do you love only the “right” people? Are you only willing to love those people who will love you back? Do you not know that God has called us to love everyone, not just the ones we like?
We may have heard that God has called us to love everyone before. If so, we have likely said, “Oh, that doesn’t really apply to me. God didn’t make me so that I could love everyone. I can’t.” If you have said or thought this, you are sadly mistaken.
True, it is not easy to love everyone. In fact, it can be extremely difficult. Yet, Jesus gave us explicit instructions to love everyone, including our enemy. He has told us that if we love only those who love us, there is no reward.
How do we go about loving our enemies? How can we get to a point of looking beyond their evil ways and actions to love them? There is only one who can do such a thing and that is God. We must rely on God’s Spirit living inside us to help us get to the point of being able to love our enemy.
This is no easy proposition, mind you. We are bombarded by the media, co-workers, friends, and family to hold that grudge, give payback, return evil for evil. Much of this world will do exactly that and the cycle continues endlessly. At what point do you get tired of riding on the merry-go-round? When is enough, enough? When will you jump off and plant your feet on solid ground again?
Jesus tells us to love our neighbor and our enemy. He lets us know that even the worst of the worst in this world will love those who love them back. We are called to live by a higher standard. We are to love as God loves. We are to be perfect as God is perfect. Perfect in love. Perfect in seeing each person as a child of God that God cares deeply for and provides for, despite what we may think.
I pray each of us will reach out to God and ask Him to lead us in loving unconditionally. I pray that we take on the hard work of loving all people as God loves them. I pray God moves mightily in our lives. Love all God’s children. Show your love for them in your actions. Pursue being perfect as God is perfect. Perfect in love.
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”