What makes love so hard? Is it that we don’t have the Biblical capacity we should? Maybe we just don’t have the emotional volume to do it for a long period of time. The truth is that we often view love as an emotion, when Biblically it is without doubt an action. The real answer for us lies in the definition God gave us so long ago… 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
We are often perplexed by it because we want to reduce it to our own definition simply because the biblical definition doesn’t suit our own heart. We are designed to be loving people. We are purposely made to be Godly in a dark world. This is to the disruption of Satan’s plan and to the absolute glory of God. We are called and commanded to love even our own enemies. (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27) This is one evidence to the real inspiration of Scripture – God, and not the convoluted concepts of man.
How do we love people who are difficult to love? We need to see love as an action much more than an emotion. It is a tangibly observed feat we consciously administer in the lives of others. We need to understand that how we treat people is a definition of our love for them. How I respond to your actions says as much about me as your actions might say about you. To love someone and then to be unreasonably bent on their demise is a spiritual impossibility. To say that we love God and hate our brother is beyond all spiritual reason. (1 John 4:20) There is no way to bring fresh water from salt water well. Love and hate for the same person cannot exist. Again how do I love the hard to love? 1) Deliberately. Use specific actions that indicate what your intentions and heart really are. 2) When someone is difficult, try to remember that not everyone has your background or resources. Life can be a struggle for many. Some don’t have the social support others have. Some lack the significant others in their lives to inspire or direct them toward a better self. They need to know Jesus. 3) Exercise mercy and grace the same way that Jesus exercises it with us. Maybe every problem doesn’t need to be a social catastrophe.
Perhaps patience… 4) Learn what is important to them, and what they feel is at stake to be lost. Most people, who struggle with fear, anger, or obsession in life, are afraid of losing something. They will be difficult to deal with in most circumstances.
Love can be a simple kindness when the rest of the world is very cold and uncaring. It can be a hug when people think they are too hurt to feel. Love can be a smile to the lonely. It can be grace to the undeserving or encouragement to the faint of heart. Love can be a kind word to that person who is never kind to you. It can be a coat in cold weather, food to the hungry, or compassion to the fallen. Love can be demonstrated in many ways, but it must always be sincere. Insincere love is an act and a fraud. It is a selfish endeavor by those who practice this deceit to take something from another they could get no other way. It is the use of a word instead of the evidence of a real relationship.
The greatest act of love is to share Christ with someone. It is the sacrifice spoken of when Jesus defines the greatest love in John 15:13. There is no gift more valuable than introducing someone to Jesus. Every other gift one will receive in life will fade, but a relationship with the son of God will last an eternity. Love people. Love the God who sacrificed everything for us. Learn to love sincerely and to love deliberately! Then you will know how to love biblically. Godspeed…