Must You Love the Unlovable?
Sports rivalries often stimulate strong feelings about particular opponents and the cities they call home. The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears don’t like each other very much. On game day, it’s not uncommon to see scores of Green Bay fans sporting shirts that say, “My two favorite teams are the Packers and whoever is playing the Bears.”
I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
─ Jonah 4:2 ESV
That type of animosity is mostly good-natured … nothing like the intense hatred the prophet Jonah felt for the people of Ninevah, a city notorious for corruption and cruelty. How much did he hate them? He wanted them all dead—literally and soon. But he didn’t get his wish. God sent him to Ninevah to preach, and quite shockingly, they repented and were spared from destruction. Jonah was displeased exceedingly angry.
Let love be a decision, not a feeling.
So, that raises a question: do you have to love people before you can minister to them? Scripture commands us to love one another, but sometimes it’s not easy. It’s difficult to feel warm fuzzies for those who wrong you—or for people who are combative, annoying or just plain rude.
It’s not about feeling the warm fuzzies. Remember, Christ loved you first … before you loved Him. You should do the same for others. Let love be a decision, not a feeling.
Today’s One Thing
Close your eyes and think about that person you find extremely difficult to love. You know who it is. It takes everything in you not to react to the things they do or say that rub you the wrong way. Now, pray for them. Ask God to minister to them, bless them and give you strength to show them His love in a special way. When He gives you that opportunity, trust Him to be able to do it.