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Loving those difficult to love

Disappointment and hurt washed over me as I once again felt the sting of a friend’s

hurtful words. I wrestled with the temptation to shut down completely and walk away from this person. But then I was reminded of the persistent love the Lord has poured out on me even in seasons where I have pushed Him away or accused Him of unkindness.

The Lord has used “hard-to-love” people in my life several times to teach me that the

Spirit of love can supernaturally fill me with wisdom, kindness, patience, and love. It is also a

time when I am humbled by the persevering, forgiving love of the Lord toward me.

Love is a feeling AND a choice. When someone is kind toward us, our natural response is

to feel love. Conversely, when unkind words come our way, our natural response is to return

similar words or actions. However, with those who act unkindly toward us, if we CHOOSE to

express loving actions toward them, feelings of love can begin to be built or rebuilt between us. It’s amazing how praying for “difficult-to-love” people can grow our feelings of love for them.

Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). We are called to a higher standard of love because we have the resource of the powerful love of the Holy Spirit within us. It is easy to say, “No way am I loving her after the way she treated me,” but remember, we have an infinite source of love to draw from that the other person may not have. Jesus calls us to love others as much as He loves us! There are three keys to doing this: 1) Put daily energy into connecting with God so you can be filled with His love throughout the day; 2) Pray to be filled supernaturally with love for the person you are struggling to love; and 3) meditate on the words and life of Jesus to be reminded of your calling to love. Though 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a very familiar passage, I find that

meditating on it during times of stressful relationships has been very helpful for me.

Is love easy? NO. Are we called to love? YES. Is love always possible? YES! Ask God to fill

you with His unconditional love and you will be amazed how this impacts your relationships.

- Sue Corl

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