Cover 2016-03-20

Ron Writes

When it’s hard to like those I’m suppose to love

Did Jesus like everyone? Did he like the Pharisees and Scribes? He referred to the Scribes as those “who devour widows’ houses.” How do you like someone who takes advantage of someone’s helpless condition and takes their property, while at the same time they make long prayers as if they’ve done nothing wrong (Mk. 12:40)? What’s lower than elder abuse? What’s worse than taking advantage of a widow? Did Jesus really like these guys?

Did Jesus like the Pharisees? The list of woes against them (Mt. 23) is lengthy. Jesus is often portrayed as liking and accepting everyone. He hung out with sinners, we know that, but did he like them? Did Jesus like Judas? How did he feel about him pilfering the funds?

There have been those in my life that I have struggled to like. What about that guy at work? What about that person who is irritating and always messing up? What about the relative with the extreme political views? Why is that crazy neighbor always so loud? Liking someone has the idea of having good feelings about them.

It can be frustrating because I know I’m supposed to love them. It’s not hard to understand, love God and love others. Love tops everything. How do I love someone I have trouble even liking? Do you wrestle with this as I do?

The solution for me is to realize that love and like are two different things. Love isn’t a good feeling toward someone. Love is seen in our actions (1 Cor. 13). It’s being patient and kind to someone, even when you don’t really like them. Love calls on us to look out for their best interests, not to feel strong emotions for them. It’s being kind to them.

It may be hard for some of you to believe, but there are some people who don’t like me. That’s okay, sometimes I don’t like me either. True love calls on us to treat even those we don’t like in a certain manner, not because of who they are, but because of who we are. Love is patient, kind, etc. (1 Cor. 13).

Jesus loves us, not because we are so loveable, but because of who He is. We see His love in action. I can’t help but ask, do you think Jesus likes us?