Loving the Hard-to-Love Person
By: Alisha Headley
Editor’s note: This devotional is about loving the hard-to-love person in your life. We are not at all condoning staying in an abusive relationship. If the “hard-to-love” person in your life is being abusive, call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline to get help: 1-800-799-7233.
There are people in this world who we find just plain hard to love. Perhaps it’s that co-worker, neighbor, or relative you have to see only a few times a year. But what if it’s also someone who is close to you, such as a spouse? Sometimes loving that hard-to-love person seems impossible.
It’s easy to love those who are loveable, right? Even Scripture acknowledges that in Luke 6:32 saying “If you love those who love you, what credit is that? Even sinners love those who love them.”
The truth is, loving the unlovable is hard if we are trying to love them out of our own strength. Especially when they have hurt us in any way. Even more, if they continue to hurt us. Some of us want to take revenge. Some of us withhold love in an effort to teach them a lesson. Some people just don’t deserve to be loved, right?
Let me ask you - do you feel YOU deserve to be loved? For all the filth, sin, and things you have done in your life that didn’t glorify God, your Maker? What makes you so deserving of love?
The truth is: we are so undeserving of His love. But yet, He still loves us. Nothing we can do or say will “separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39). No sin, no past, no addiction, no depression, no angel, or demon. Absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God.
God calls us to love just as He loves us. He commands us to love all throughout Scripture. We have heard these words since we are a child. The very first Sunday school hymn most of us learned early on were the words ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’ We know these words. We speak these words telling our spouse and kids we love them every day. But do we actually LIVE OUT these words?
Love manifests itself through action. Jesus demonstrated this kind of love by hanging on a cross – the ultimate symbol of love. Think about this more deeply. Jesus left the splendor and perfection of heaven and entered the filth of earth because He loved us so much. He willingly agreed to suffer, to be beaten, betrayed by his closest friends, humiliated, accused, and wrongfully treated BECAUSE HE LOVED US.
When I feel wronged, my feelings tend to take over. But love isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. It looks like this: when someone hurts you, you love them anyway. You forgive anyways. You show them Christ by loving them. Let God deal with them in His time and in His way as that’s His job. It’s our job to love and keep on loving.
Romans 12:20 says “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap coals of fire on your head.” In other words, don’t repay evil for evil as that’s God’s job. But keep on loving that hard-to-love person because God commands as to. And as someone who is so undeserving of His love, I am to show the same underserving love to others. For what if – you are the ONLY person that crosses the path of this hard-to-love person, therefore the ONLY person to potential show Christ through you? You’re a vessel for Christ, so I encourage you to be a vessel of love.
Alisha Headley is a writer and speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom and power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. Alisha is a proud wifey and dog mama living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can follow her blog by visiting her website or connect with her on facebook + instagram.
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