Loving So-and-so

Here’s a conversation similar to one I had a few years ago.

X – I know that I am supposed to love everyone, but I can never love so-and-so.  I don’t feel any kind of compassion or kindness toward him after what he did.  But I know that the Bible tells me I have to love him.  I try but I can’t.  What am I supposed to do?

Dave – So is this a burden or a care in your life, this inability to love so-and-so?

X – Yes.

Dave – What are we supposed to do with the burdens or cares of our lives as believers?

X – Give them to Jesus.

Dave – Let’s see if you can do that with this.  Do you think Jesus loves so-and-so? 

X – Yes.

Dave – And what is Jesus to you?

X – He is my life.

Dave – So Jesus lives in you and is the source of your life, right?

X – Right.

Dave – Then, as Jesus is in you and is your life, He is loving so-and-so in you and as your life, right?

X – Right.

Dave – So the life in you loves so-and-so.  Is there any other life in you?

X – No, the old life died.

Dave – But you still feel the feelings of the old life, right?

X – Right.

Dave – And you still think much of the time like you used to, right?

X – Right.

Dave – But is that old life still you?

X – No.

Dave – So what does the real you, not the old you, think about so-and-so?

X – I guess I love him. 

Dave – Even though you don’t feel like it?

X – Yes. 

Dave – Now we have talked about this before and you know that loving someone is different from trusting him or even liking him.  You are only asked to love him.  Do you see that the command to love is not about your feelings or actions, but about your trust of the One whose life is in you?  By acknowledging that you love so-and-so because Jesus in you loves him, you are looking at the truth about your life in Christ.  It is because of who you are that this love is in you.  You are not what you used to be and the feelings of the old way are not you.

X – So I don’t have to trust him or like him or agree with him or get together with him to love him?

Dave – That’s right.  Loving someone is agreeing with the new life in you, the life of Jesus.  It isn’t about making yourself vulnerable to a cruel person again.

X – So, if Jesus is the One who loves all people, even so-and-so, and Jesus is the life in me, then I love all people, even so-and-so? 

Dave – Right!

 

 

Basic theology requires us to maintain a difference between Jesus and us, simply to understand what it means to be a person.  Jesus is a person and I am a person.  We are not the same person.  So, just because Jesus feels love for someone does not mean I feel love for someone.  I am not Jesus.

But Jesus is in me and I am in Him.  The very life that flows in me is His life, given to me as I died and rose with Him on the cross.  He is my strength and my wisdom and my peace and my love.  Anything in me that is contrary to Him is the old memory of a past life, the habits and attitudes formed when I was apart from Him.  I do still live there much of the time, thinking with the mind that used to be.  But the truth is that I am a new creation and Jesus is my life.

So love for all people is in you.  You may not feel it and you may even find it hard to believe, but the life in you already loves so-and-so.

2 Comments

Filed under Freedom, grace, heart, Relationship

2 responses to “Loving So-and-so

  1. finally.free

    This is incredibly good news!

    • I agree! I wish I had a way of explaining it even more simply because I think this could help so many to be free of the guilt they feel as they think of people who have hurt them. The burden of loving those who hurt us isn’t something we can handle. We have to trust that Jesus handles it for us and in us.

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