By Bob Weber | Monday, April 23, 2018 | 7:25 AM
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Romans 12:9 (NLT)
Sometimes it's just hard to love someone. Sometimes it's hard for others to love me. As people we tend to love others when it suits us. If they fall into certain categories like family and friends, something inside us compels us to love them even when they are unlovable. We may have to work through some issues, but that's the point, we work through the issues. As children of God, we seem to not have this natural instinct to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. If they fall into the categories that I naturally love (friends/family), I do, but that is a very small part of my spiritual family. I have to draw on something other than my natural instincts if I am to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially if they go to another church or if they believe some things differently than I do.
The key here is to not lean on my instincts but on God's Spirit who lives inside me. What comes natural to the Spirit does not come natural to me. I know that God loves every one of His children as much as He loves me. The solution then is for me to tap into God's love for His child in the moment. When was the last time a Christian brother or sister did something that hurt or bothered you? If you are around them it is only a matter of time before they do. Let me encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to pour God's love for the person into your heart. You will find that while the Spirit hates the wrong even more than you do, He is compelled by God's faithfulness to continue to love the person. In the moment you have a choice; Do I lean on my own natural instincts or do I lean on the faithfulness of God? Remember the good we hold onto is the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus!