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… Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV)
As children of Christ we are called to love one another. Jesus commands us in John 13:34-35 to love one another. He says,
As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (NIV)
Does that mean that we only love some people? No, it means that we are to love everyone. Jesus didn’t pick and choose who He loved. He loved everyone.
There are people in our lives that we love with all our heart. These people may be our spouses, children, friends, parents, siblings, etc. . . The people that we are closest to are the easiest to love. We love them and care for them and want them in our lives.
What about the people that aren’t so easy to love? What about the people that have cause us a great deal of harm and that always mistreat and degrade us? Are we supposed to love them?
The answer is, Yes!
Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you. When we are hurt by someone, loving them is not an easy thing to do, but it’s what we are called to do. They need to be shown the love of Christ just like the person that we love most. Your loving them may be what it takes for them to see that Christ loves them and they are truly loved.
Take some time today to think about the people in your life. Are there people in your life that you do not love, maybe someone that has hurt you, a broken relationship? Pray about ways that you can show those people how much God loves them. Love them and pray for them.
Dear God, thank You so much for loving us. You love us so much that You died on the cross for our sins and for that I am forever grateful. None of us deserve Your love, but You give it to us anyway. Help us to love others in the way that You would have us to love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.