Real Love is Hard Work

"We Love the Lord!!" encircled with a heart

Everybody seems to talk so freely about “love”. I love pizza. I love my dog. I love driving fast. I love… And from youth, I’ll always hear about some boy or girl being in love with somebody new…this week they love this person. This week, they hate that person and now love this person…

Then there’s “love your neighbor as yourself,” but does anybody REALLY love their neighbor as they love themselves? Really?

Jesus also tells us that anybody can love somebody they know, but not many love people they don’t know, or who aren’t worthy of love. Then He tells us to love those unlovable people.

Have you tried this? No, really…tried it? Isn’t it easier to say “the heck with you, then,” (nice version)?

My point is that real love is HARD! Seriously! And isn’t it interesting how many of these unlovable people the Lord puts into our lives? For example, I know somebody (in their early 20s) who’s mean to their mom, an antagonist to their dad, a spoiled brat who gets everything they want yet feels the need to whine and pout about it not being fair that they don’t have something that everybody else has. This person wants everything for their self, doesn’t want to share, and feels cheated if they’re forced to, yet doesn’t take that great of care of the things they already own. They’re self-centered, and are only nice to you when they want or need something from you. Then once they have it, you’re back to “nunya-bizness”.

Do you know people like this?  I think we all do at some points in our lives.

Do they deserve our love? Heck no!

Do they want our love? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Are we supposed to love them? Yeah, we are. But how are we supposed to love them genuinely without becoming one of their slaves or a victim of their antagonism?

While venting one time to my wife about one of these people, she asked me, “But aren’t we (people in general) the same when it comes to God?”
How many (of us?) do you know who mostly go to God when something is needed, or pray more when things are bad, then once things are good, the prayers and praises stop (or are less frequent)? How many of us pray for ourselves more than for others? Do you get mad at God for “unanswered prayers” or whine & pout when His timing is not in our expected time limit? How many of us tithe our net income instead of our gross, or give only a few dollars out of our pay checks each Sunday? Aren’t we to give to God the first of our (gross) fruits? Our money’s His to begin with, so why are we so hesitant to share it even with Him? And how many times have you thought that God’s with you when things are going well, but when you don’t get what you want, you whine, pout and become depressed, figuring that God must have left you? Are we really such “spoiled brats”? Boy, what unlovable people WE are, eh?

Do we deserve God’s love? Heck no!

Do we want God’s love? Some of us do, some don’t.

Does God love us anyway?  Yeah, He does….even to the point of dying in our place so we might (and may) choose to be with Him forever.

It’s a real challenge–hard work–to genuinely love the unlovable, especially when many of them continue to get on our nerves so much. But I think that when we realize that in God’s eyes, we’re just as unlovable as they are, working to truly love them actually brings us one step closer to understanding God’s love for us…and brings us one step closer to loving like Him.

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