Loving the Unlovely

We all have people in our lives who are easy to love. It is easy to give and show love to these people because it is a give and take relationship. We know that when we show love to them, they will in turn show love to us. Perhaps you can think of a person in your life right now like this - maybe your best friend, a parent, sibling or someone in your church.

It is natural for us to love those who love us. Even those of the world will love those who love in return. Jesus spoke of this in Mt 5:46, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?" There is no reward for this kind of love. True love is giving without expecting anything in return.

Jesus talked of loving the poor, loving those who could not return the favor. When He says poor, I do not think this necessarily means in a physical sense. Who is there in your life that is difficult to love? Someone that may not necessarily love you back? What about the awkward person who always seems to say the wrong thing at the wrong time?

Being a teacher, sometimes I am often faced with students that are difficult to love. A student once asked his teacher, "do you love all your students?" Honestly, there are some of my students I don't "feel" like loving. But, wait a minute! Love is not just some fuzzy feeling we get from being around a certain person. Love is a decision. I must make the decision to love that student who tries every possible way to wear out my patience. I must make the decision to love that awkward person others may see as a misfit.

True love is putting others needs ahead of my own. This may not be as difficult to do for some people, but what about the people I really don't like or care for? When we reach this point, we are beginning to show Christlike character. For it was Him who first loved us - just the way we were - poor miserable sinners with nothing to offer.

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