I like surrounding myself with fun people. I often avoid those who carry a lot of emotional baggage such as bitterness, addictions, or depression. I avoid people who aren’t nice. Let’s face it. Life is short. Why waste a perfectly great night out with people who don’t seem to “fit in”? After all, those babysitters aren’t cheap. Why invite them into my home only to watch the clock and wonder when they are going to go back to their house? Why return their calls? Respond to their e-mails? They never seem to listen to my advice anyway. They are still going to hold onto their stuff like it’s a sack full She Takes the Cake’s “Chocolate Therapy”. And, my condolences to you poor souls who’ve never tasted that little bit of heaven.
I like fun people.
But, Jesus said love your enemies. Now, I don’t consider the people described above as enemies. But, if God wants us to love our enemies, I’d bet he means them, too.
This kind of love isn’t easy, is it? The Apostle Paul wrote, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding” (Philippians 1:9, NLT). This means that as we get to know Jesus – and understand who He is more and more, that this kind of love will grow. Not overnight. It’s a lifelong process.
I think the first thing to remember is that we ourselves are in desperate need of a Savior. That we, too, fall short and fall short often. Pride sets in when we don’t realize how God loves us in spite of our failures and short-comings. And, we all know that pride and love mix about as well as oil and water. But, when we see that we all need His grace, then we become less judgmental. And, loving the not so fun people becomes easier.
Who did Jesus chill out with when He walked the earth? Well, not the self-righteous Pharisees. Nope. Not a one. He kicked it back with prostitutes, stinking fishermen and even the I.R.S. of the day. And, we are called to love just as He loved.
It doesn’t mean it’s an easy endeavor. But, we have the Holy Spirit within us. And, that empowers us to love with the love that lives within us. As a child of God, that kind of love is our inheritance.
One day, I might even share my “Chocolate Therapy” with the not so fun people.
I’m just kidding. I don’t even share that with my friends.
Do you struggle loving the hard to love?