Have you ever been completely frustrated with someone? On one end, you know that you should love everyone, even those deemed "unlovable". But yet these persons just seem so complicated. I've been there.
Love is such a simple word, still displaying it can sometimes feel almost impossible to accomplish. In a world filled with difficult people, we can easily find ourselves between a rock and a hard place trying to love seemingly "unlovable" people.
Growing up I use to wish that God would give me the right things to say to "complicated" people to make them more manageable or to give me the tools to fix them.
You know those people that you see great value and potential in, but you can't get past their attitude enough to engage them the way that you'd like. Yeah, those people.
They are the ones who I figured, if I can make these people just a little bit more compliant I can love them easier, but boy, was I wrong.
I mean...we all mean well. At least most of us.
There is an innate desire to be nice to everyone and show expressions of love.
Still, when it is time to administer love and put it on display, there are times it gets lost in translation.
Showing love is the right thing to do, isn't it?
Then why is showing what's supposed to be freely given so difficult when it comes to certain people?
Am I Loving Correctly?
I think the intentions God had in mind for us to successfully give love was first to allow love to transform us and then we'd be better at deploying that love to others.
The whole time I was busy trying to fix what I thought was broken in people, the Lord was actually trying to show me what was broken in me.
What a hard pill to swallow.
The way I loved, saw people, and expressed it needed to change. God often uses other people and the way we handle (or mishandled) them to show us the places in us that are still broken.
I was trying to love people without actually being changed by God's love.
The Bible describes love as:
Hopeful in all things
Endures all things
It also clearly tells us what love is not and that is:
Not easily provoked or annoyed
Takes no account of wrongdoings
When you've been transformed through God's love he will chip away at anything that doesn't reflect what His Word says that love should look like.
I admit it. I didn't understand at that time and so in my humanistic mind, I was attempting to love from a place that I hadn't been transformed in yet.
While I thought I saw people the way God does I was disappointed when I realized that God never responded to anyone’s character flaws the way I did. In fact, He never saw them as difficult the way I did.
You see, in order to successfully love you have to see from love and the only way you can do that is by being transformed in love.
If we continue to see people through our own lens we will more than likely respond to them through our own cognitive state. Yet, when we see from love we will not see them as another project but rather, the way God does and be more inclined to respond the way he does as well.
If I’m so strung up on teaching them how to be more manageable when will I ever authentically display love?
If the object of my affection is to change someone’s disposition before I am able to successfully love them, I’ve already failed at loving the way God does.
People Are People First
Bob Goff said:
“God makes people, and people make issues but people aren’t issues. They’re not projects either. People are people.”
This stands to say that while people can do things to make it hard to love them the way we should, we cannot treat them as if they are issues.
We also should not overemphasize fixing the mishaps that people create so much that we miss out on opportunities to love them through it.
God wants our heart (where the transformation takes place) when it comes to loving people, not necessarily our help.
The truth is, the more we learn to love people unconditionally and realize people are people first, the greater the chances are that people will begin to seek change within themselves. After all, we were created to respond to love.
Being changed in love is the goal that I think God wants us to aspire to. When something is changed in love, everything grows, flourishes, and blossoms from that place. The expression of love won't be contingent on who and how they are but rather who you became.
Do Everything In Love
- 1 Corinthians 16:14