20 If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:20-21
We all struggle to love people. But we are told quite clearly in these verses that we are called to love our brothers. This commandment to love others exposes exactly how broken we are, and our desperately we need His grace.
The people in our lives should find us to be the most loving people that they know. That means the people that live in our house or are related to us, that means the people we consider friends and the people that attend our church, that means the people that work on the same building or interact with us regularly, that means people who live on the same street as us, the people who share the road or the checkout line with us, the people that knock on our doors or fix our cars. The people that we interact with should consider us the most loving person that they know.
Who in your life would say you are not the most loving person? That’s where you need to go to work on your heart. God allows difficult people into our lives to show us where we need to work on our hearts. They expose the sharp edges in our hearts that need to be chastened by God, and its uncomfortable at times. We all would rather be around pleasant people all the time, but we all have to interact regularly with people who irritate or an annoy us. If we’re paying attention, and we’re remaining humble and reachable, those interactions bubble up to the serfacs our own self-centerdness. These people irritate us because we’re not getting what we want and our own sense of comfort is being negatively impacted.
If we are to say we love God, then we need to demonstrate a selfless love of others. Pay attention to your interactions with those difficult people in your life and look for areas you are putting your own needs first. Surrender those needs, and you will find yourself growing in your ability to love well.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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