Sometimes it’s hard for me to love you.
I know that sounds ugly, but it’s true.
I know what the Bible says. I’ve read it many times before.
“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31 NKJV
The Bible tells me to love my neighbors (which means coworkers, siblings, parents, customers from work, actual neighbors, church members, inlaws, distant friends, my spouse, my children, my boss, the people in line at the grocery store, our police, our political leaders, ex boyfriends… The list goes on and on.) but sometimes it’s really hard.
You are ALL my neighbors, but sometimes it’s hard for me to love you.
Sometimes you look different than me.
Sometimes you think different than me.
Sometimes you talk different than me, or don’t understand the hardships I’ve experienced.
Maybe you were raised differently than me. Maybe you had it better, or worse than I did.
Maybe you grew up in a home with both parents, or maybe you grew up in foster care.
Maybe you are passionate about things I don’t agree with or have hobbies I don’t understand.
Maybe you don’t agree with the way that I parent.
Maybe what is important to you is meaningless to me and sometimes you don’t understand why I value what I do.
Maybe you push people away because of your own deep rooted pains, and you make it really hard for me to love you.
Maybe you are going to vote differently than I am.
Maybe you aren’t planning to vote at all.
Maybe you go to a different church or belong to a different religion all together.
Maybe you sit in a pew across from me.
Maybe you’re athiest.
Maybe you’re straight.
Maybe you’re gay.
Maybe you’re divorced or widowed.
Maybe you don’t really even like me, but that’s ok. I’m still supposed to love you.
Sometimes it’s hard.
We are different, and our differences cause conflict or animosity at times. Sometimes that makes it hard for me to love you…
…but that’s not your problem. It’s mine.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
I’m not supposed to love you because you agree with me.
I’m not supposed to love you because we’re alike.
I’m not supposed to love you because we plan to raise our children the same way.
I’m not supposed to love you because we go to the same church.
I’m not supposed to love you because we are from the same political party.
I’m not supposed to love you because we struggle with the same sins.
I’m not supposed to love you because you think I’m funny or enjoy my company.
I’m not supposed to love you because you’re my family.
I’m not supposed to love you because we’re the same sexual orientation or race.
I’m just supposed to love you.
Sometimes it’s just hard.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
In His Love,
*Previously posted November 2016
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