Love Everyone. Really?

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS

I don’t know about you but when it comes to abiding in the Scripture found in 1 John 2:11, I find myself challenged — to say the least.

“But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

I find it difficult to love a child molester, a person who gossips, a member of ISIS, or a neighbor who races his motorcycle engine at 5:45 am.

However, a centerpiece of the Christian life is our ability to let go of hostility and animosity and move forward with peace in our hearts to all. But that is easier said than done based on two reasons:

  1. We are easily offended, which is one of Satan’s greatest weapons in causing a divide in relationships. He knows how effective feeling offended can be and uses it to keep us struggling.
  2. We long for comfort above all else and therefore seek to oust anything or anyone who threatens our quest for it.

These two mindsets can keep us forever stuck in darkness because of our own blindness. But there are ways to overcome these human obstacles and learn to love the unlovable. Here are three things we can do to help us abide with Jesus’ command to love everyone.

  1. We begin the process by recognizing another person’s brokenness. We’re all broken but some us more than others. With the development of empathy, we can better understand why a person behaves the way they do. And with this insight we can become more understanding.
  2. We should engage in on-going pray that God will work to show them the fear, hatred and bitterness that lies in their hearts and to bring them peace from the demons that haunt them.
  3. Finally, sometimes it takes divine intervention to be able to forgive and love certain individuals. And, depending on the grievance, we may need to practice forgiveness and loving every day for the rest of our lives. And to accomplish this we need strength and encouragement from the Holy Spirit. Pray that God will provide you with the humbleness needed to truly forgive.

Loving the unlovable is far from easy for anyone but when we accomplish this feat, we allow others to see the glory of God in us. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 

One last point. Moving away from hatred and anger to someone doesn’t mean we need to engage in a relationship with them. People who are still unsafe must be kept at a distance. Our ability to love them, while protecting ourselves and others, is wise and sometimes necessary.

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