Have you ever come across people who just don’t like you? Your existence just makes them uncomfortable and you don’t know what the problem could be. Worst still, do you have a loved one who really resents you for reasons unknown to you? They can’t stand your voice, they totally don’t respond to your conversation, your presence seems to suffocate them and you are totally aloof as to why. Well, it is totally frustrating.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 8 (ESV)
Well, I get encouraged alot by the scripture, that our gifts not withstanding, we have to love and have love. Many times we have thought of love as a feeling, an emotion that we can barely control, well, we thought wrong. Love is a choice, a decision we make. Love has a character, what it looks like. You can see it in day to day interactions and pick it up in conversations. It is distinct and cannot be hidden. It is a force with great power and distinct character.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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 do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:43 – 48 (ESV)
As frustrating as it may be to you, you have to love them, love perfects and covers all sin. Be patient with them, be kind to them. Do not keep a record of their wrong, do not envy or boast to them. Avoid any show of arrogance or rudeness to them. Believe and hope that all will work out in time. Love them not because they are good to you but because you have the likeness of your Father who loved us while we were yet His enemies. See how you turned out when you came to the awareness of the love of God and realise you can have the same impact on others when you love them despite what they put you through. Love them right and watch them bloom from darkness into light.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.John 13:35 (ESV)