God can help us love difficult people

As long as I can remember, I have heard the phrase, “Love one another.” I heard it in Sunday school as a little girl, but it was not until I was much older that I understood this commandment and its vital importance in everyday living.

Why did Jesus give us this commandment? One reason was he knew we would encounter difficult people and would need the reminder.

Loving one another is a commandment that defines us if we choose to obey.

John 13:34-35 (NIV) said, “A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

God’s love for us is unconditional, constant and always there. When we believe and receive God’s love for us, we have a responsibility to give it away. Is your love for people you encounter just like God’s?

Let’s be honest, some people are just harder to love. There have been times in my life I just have not felt love for a person due to hurt or disappointment. I simply did not feel like loving like God does.

1 John 3:23 (NIV) states, “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.”

God never requires something of us without his provision for us. I have learned to quickly and constantly ask God to give me his love for difficult people. Loving the unlovely can only be done well when we acknowledge our need for God’s grace to help us. When we ask for his help, we align ourselves with God and his love. We become a conduit for love to flow. Who do you need to ask God to give you his love for?

Romans 13:8 states, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

We never arrive at the finish line when it comes to love. We will always have a responsibility to love those around us.

There are 10 commandments, but if we simply remember to love, we fulfill all of the other nine commandments without thinking. Simplify your life and choose to love.

Where does real love come from?

I John 4:7 (NIV) tells us it comes from God. That is freeing to me. I do not have to beat myself up when I do not feel like loving; however, my job is to open my heart to receive his love for me and then I can give it away.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (NIV)

I have prayed many times, “God, I open my heart to you. Fill me with your love for ________.”

In loving the irregular people in our lives, we get the opportunity to know more of God’s love and who he really is. Love is the core of who God is, and it is in our DNA, too, as his kids.

When we choose to obey and love, we choose freedom for ourselves. As we celebrate the freedom our forefathers provided and Christ provided, let’s follow in their footsteps and lay down our lives and love one another — then enjoy the benefits.

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native of the Hill Country, a podcaster, author, writer and speaker. Contact her at [email protected]. You can also purchase her book, “Thriving Through Seasons of Grief,” or listen to her podcast on her website, www.kathleenmaxwellrambie.com