If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.
1 John 4:20-21
Hard to Love
Loving all people as our brothers and sisters can sometimes be difficult, especially when they don’t share our views or values. Loving someone for sharing our same opinion is easy—yet do we really love that person, or do we love the fact that they share our opinion? Loving people who have wronged us, who drive us crazy, or who behave atrociously is considerably harder to do. Yet, God commands us to love all His creation exactly this way.
Once we are truly saved, we have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who epitomizes Jesus’ love for all people. It is only when we walk in spirit and truth that we can obey His command to love others. We show our love for God by keeping His commandments. We have never seen Him, but we know Him by the Holy Spirit. The more we allow God to control our hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit, the easier this becomes.
Strive to Love
We must strive through the Holy Spirit to see others as God sees them. We must love them as Jesus did. I can abhor the actions of those who perpetrate their evil against the innocent and helpless. God will be their judge. In order to show my love for God, I must love their soul and pray that it be reconciled to God through Jesus.
God’s love is perfect. The most evil heart controlled by Satan can be reconciled to God through Jesus. How often we hear stories about believers who have experienced the loss of a child at the hand of an evil person, yet who are able to forgive that person and extend forgiveness. They truly understand this commandment, and they allow the Holy Spirit to fill them with God’s love.
We can’t see God, but through the Holy Spirit we know He lives within us. Our love for Him grows as we allow His spirit to guide and direct us in His loving ways. Then we can love those who we deem “unlovable,” just as He has commanded.
Has God placed someone in your life who is hard for you to love? Have you asked the Holy Spirit for guidance to help you love this person? Take time now to reflect and as the Holy Spirit to fill you with a greater measure of the Father’s love–the same love He has for you.