Have you ever had someone in your life who just seemed impossible to love?
Or maybe you’re the type to say you love them, but you don’t like them. Which really means, “I’m supposed to love them so I do, but I don’t want to ever be around them.”
Does God want to be around them? Does God like them? If you’re thinking of all the nasty things they say and do to express why God doesn’t or why you don’t, then you’re focused on the wrong thing.
God doesn’t define us by our sin.
We have to stop defining others by their sin.
In order to do that we have to stop seeing ourselves and others as unlovable sinners. To love our neighbor, or dare I say, like them, we need heaven's perspective - not earths.
1 John 4:19
We love because He (Jesus) first loved us.
We are only capable of loving our neighbor, friend, coworker, family etc. if we FIRST RECEIVE God's love.
This is a controversial one amongst Christians, because somehow we think we have to love God and others first and foremost as they’re the most important commands. While I agree that they are still, in fact, the greatest commandments as Jesus said (no one is saying otherwise), the issue is that we think we are capable of love without having received love.
It’s easy to be kind to someone who is kind to you. It’s hard to be kind to someone who is mean to you.
What if we measured the kindness we gave based on the kindness we received from Christ?
What if we were kind to everyone no matter what because we felt the kindness of Christ for them, because we felt the kindness of Christ for us?
Love is the same way.
If you’re struggling to love someone or even like someone, I want to challenge you to ask Jesus what lie you’re believing about His love for YOU. We can only give love out of a well overflowing with it. It can’t be a limited supply or we run dry.
There’s only one person to overflow like that and it’s Jesus Christ. His blood poured out, to keep nothing from separating us from His love. It’s wildly important to Him. He died to reconnect us to the Father, as sin separated us.
It may feel prideful to say, “Well I can’t love so and so because I need to receive God’s love first.” It’s the oxygen mask on the plane, you have to receive first if you stand any hope of helping anyone else. You have to lead by example. What feels selfish is actually a sacrifice of pride. Ironically, to receive love when we feel so unlovable is humbling. It requires death of our way of thinking and resurrection of Jesus’s way of thinking.
We are often gripped by pride paralysis, keeping us stuck in the pattern or loop we’ve been stuck in for way too long.
We wonder why God isn’t intervening and changing the cycle but it’s us who have the power to do that.
If you feel like this is you, I would invite you to pray this prayer, “”Search my heart Oh Lord and see if there be any wicked way in me.” Show me what sacrifices I need to make or what mindsets I need to let go of and replace them with your perspective, Jesus.””
The trick is we have to want it.
God won’t force His love on us.
He waits patiently for us to put our walls down and lay down our idols and ways of thinking so that we welcome Him in. We even need help to do this! If you’re struggling to trust God, tell Him! Ask Him for His help to trust Him.
When we spend time receiving from God, our well begins to overflow and that love gets on everything and everyone around us.
One of the beautiful things about what Christ has done for us is that we don’t even have to “try”. Our own strength is nothing compared to His. All it requires for us to do is pick up our cross (die to our pride and ways of thought daily) and follow Him (renew our minds in the word of God to get His perspective).
We are activating that when we sit and receive His love for us. It’s difficult to silence our thoughts long enough to hear His.
So when we do this, He gives us His heart and we will have a supernatural ability to love and even like the unlovables in our lives.
He calls them lovable.
~ Amanda Santistevan