I had said that I would come back and give more of my thoughts on our LIFE Group lesson. I’m finally doing that. This is a real lesson in transparency for me. But here goes….
I have trouble loving the unlovable. There are some people that just plain rub me the wrong way. They get on my nerves. They aggrevate me. They irritate me. I don’t even like them, so how am I supposed to love them?
Well, I could give the comfortable, typical Christian answer…..”You don’t have to like them, but you can still love them.” Can I really? I guess that depends on how I define the word “love.”
In my mind, love is an action word….not a feeling. I don’t believe that I can say “I love you” and it mean anything if I’m not willing to back it up. Our lesson had focused on that a bit and I was glad to see that. But I want to elaborate on that for a minute. Bear with me….
If I say that I love you, and then you call me at 2am needing help….what should my response be? Should I tell you to call back at a decent hour, or should I help? Sure it’s easy to say that I should help…but the actual doing is another matter. That can get uncomfortable. Am I willing to get uncomfortable for someone that I say I love? Do I really love them if I’m not willing?
Here’s the hard one for me…..
If you hurt my feelings, what should my reaction be? You hurt my feelings. Sounds minor, but it’s really huge. Can I love you enough to tell you that you hurt my feelings? What if you respond with, “So what?” Can I still love you? What if you took advantage of me? What if you embarrassed me in front of other people? Can I still love you then?
What if you just generally tick me off? Can I still love you?
That gets difficult for me sometimes. I want to love you, but you just make it so hard.
So I think that love isn’t always easy. The feeling of love is very easy. It’s warm and cozy and everything nice. But the action of loving takes effort. Sometimes it comes at a price. Sometimes I have to lay aside my hurt feelings to love someone. I might have to get outside of my comfort zone. And most likely, I’ll never get anything in return. Am I willing to do that? Am I really….or do I just say that I am?
I believe that Jesus is the perfect example of what real love is. His love for us came at a price. He paid the price because He knew that real love is more than a feeling…it’s action. He paid the price because He really does love us. And as a Christ follower, I need to be willing to do the same. Thankfully, I haven’t had to lay down my life for anybody. But would I be willing to do that….even for a person who I consider “unlovable?”