When It’s Hard to Love

When you hear the word “love,” what comes to mind?

Most of us think of our spouses, children, family, or friends. We think of people who are easy to love, because they love us back. We often don’t think about those who are hard to love. Jesus says If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:32). He goes on to issue this challenge to His followers: But love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35). It is not enough for us to love the people that are easy for us to love; we are called to love those who are hard to love.
But how?

How to Love the “Hard to Love”

Do we just put on a smile and make fake conversation until we can make the quickest exit? It’s important to remember here that biblical love is not about warm feelings. It’s about actions. Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, Jesus has given us the ability to love everyone, in word and deed—even those we think we can’t love. Here are some steps you can take to tap in to that power:

Pray often for God to change your heart. When we pray for our attitudes, and when we pray for our enemies, it’s amazing how or hearts begin to soften toward those who we find tough to love.

Forgive often as Jesus forgave us. This word in the Bible can mean everything from remitting a debt, to leaving something alone and even to simply overlook. And if you need motivation, just think about how God has done this in your own life!

Set healthy boundaries. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be that person’s best friend. We can love even the most difficult people by being kind, meeting their needs, and showing them respect. 

Why We Love the “Hard to Love”

As Christians, we lead by example. Servant leadership is one of our core values at Feed the Missions. We believe it’s important to approach everyone with an attitude of service, just as Jesus did.
Loving people who don’t love us back can feel thankless at times. But we have a Savior who can relate.

Jesus loved us before we knew who He was or wanted a relationship with Him. So when we feel like it would be so easy to bring attention to ourselves or be angry at someone that has hurt us, let’s remember that we are who we are because of a God who never gave up on us. And if we’re committed to loving others well, one day maybe the hard-to-love folks in our lives will be able to look back and say the very same thing. 

Praying for a Heart to Love the “Hard to Love” 

Lord Jesus we ask that you forgive us for the way we treat others. Change our hearts to be more like yours. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and teaching us hard lessons. Allow us to be faithful to your word and walking out truth. Fill our hearts with compassion and servant leadership skills to help us love those that are hard to love. Your word says people will know we are His followers by the way we love- John 13:35. May we be reminded of who we are as we continue to love everyone. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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