Discoveries in Faith

Short, uplifting Bible lessons designed to build faith and inspire obedience. 

Loving the Unlovely

The Bible makes it repeatedly clear that we are to love other people. We are to love our neighbor as ourself. We are to care for the widow, orphan, stranger, and prisoner. In both the New Testament and Old Testament God emphasizes the primacy of love.

This command is easy in some situations. Loving family and friends for example is natural and almost effortless.

However certain people irritate us and we find it difficult to love them. We know the clear biblical teaching about love, but some people test us.

What is the solution? Should we avoid them? Should we pretend we like them? Should we try harder to muster up some kindness toward them?

The best solution is to admit our deficit and import love from Jesus. Galatians 5 explains that our old "fleshly" nature is hateful and contentious. But the fruit of the Spirit is love. 

  1. We must admit our inadequacy. "God I don't love this person. I don't have affectionate feelings toward them. You know my heart God, I can't fool You."
  2. We must appropriate God's love. "God you are loving. Please fill me with Your Spirit and love this person through me. You do in me what I cannot do. I yield to You Heavenly Father. Live and love through me I pray."

An example of this is found in the nation of Japan. This tiny island nation does not have any oil of their own. Since there is no place to drill for it in their own land, they have to import all their oil from outside. This is a picture of our lives. We are not naturally loving. All love we get must be imported from God.

As we acknowledge our weakness and trust God to live through us we discover supernatural love flowing for even the worst of people. This is the only way to love some people.