Loving the Unlovable

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Today we explore further how to love those who do not seem lovable. In fact, they may even repulse us. This verse from Romans traces the source of the love that fills our hearts: it comes from God. Because the love comes from God, it enables us to love in ways impossible for us as mere humans. God’s love differs from man’s love in significant ways, as we read from 1 Corinthians 13:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

When we begin to love like God does, our love will know no limits. We will forgive more easily, and not serve others based on whether we like them or not. Many Christians will give to needy causes, but how many will jump in and serve? Jesus loved all and served all during His earthly ministry. In fact, He was accused of associating with the so-called baser elements of society:

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them’ ” (Luke 15:1-2).

What compelled Jesus to interact with the so-called outcasts of society? The only explanation the Bible provides is love (John 3:16). God’s children are born again in God’s likeness, and begin to take on God’s characteristics, such as His love. We now can look upon outsiders rejected by the world, and demonstrate a willingness to serve them with Christ’s love.

Application

1. Meditate on God’s love, and ask Him to show you ways to serve others.
We now possess supernatural power to do the unthinkable: serve the unworthy. Since we recall that we ourselves do not merit God’s love, we can freely love others as God loves us.

2. Serve from proper motives.
We should serve God as an act of worship and thanksgiving for all He’s done for us. When we serve others as a response to God’s goodness toward us, we will willingly serve people the world has discarded as not worthy of their attention.

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