“Loving people who are hard to love is difficult because it’s true love; we unconditionally give, knowing we will receive nothing in exchange. It’s love’s greatest challenge. but that’s exactly what Jesus asks of us.”- Kyle Idleman
Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 9 of One At a Time with a wry observation about greeting cards. Pastor Idleman names one category of greeting cards you’ll never find: ‘enemies’. No greeting cards exist that express love for your enemies. Certainly, there’s no market for that. But, Kyle states, that’s how far Jesus goes with loving people one at a time.
Consequently, Kyle shares two questions he’s learned to ask himself that help us love our enemies.
1. How has God loved me? First, think of people who you find hard to love. Chances are that a number of names come to mind. But did your own name come up? Yet, in all honesty, we’re not always easy to love. However, because God first loved us, that means we don’t manufacture love – summon up loving feelings. Rather, when we receive God’s l0ve, we grow in love. And as God’s love fills us, it starts to overflow. Therefore, we don’t conjure up love. Instead, we serve as conduits of His love.
2. What would it be like? Most significantly, Kyle stresses, ask yourself this question when you encounter a hard-to-love person: What’s it like to be them? As you take your eyes off yourself for a second, prayerfully ponder that question.
Perhaps in order to answer that question, you need to spend some time with that person listening and learning. Thus, loving them won’t be so hard when you put yourself in their shoes.
In conclusion, Kyle adds:
“I think it’s relatively easy to convince ourselves we feel some compassion for someone we used to have contempt for, to get out our microscope and detect some infinitesimal speck of positive feelings and call it love. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. . . . Perhaps a better phrase for what we’re talking about is, ‘The love is in the touching.” ”
Today’s question: What do you see as the greatest challenge of love? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Influence comes through conversations”