Think of a person you dislike or love to hate… either in your workplace, office, your ex-, family member, or whomever or wherever. Maybe they’ve done something against you and you just hate them for it, or you can’t get along due to unresolvable personality conflicts. Whatever it may be causing you to dislike or hate each other so much that you cannot say to him/her face, “My dear friend, how are you really doing today? I really do care and would like to hear how you are doing?”
We may try to pretend to like them, but deep inside, you know you can’t. As good Christ-followers with honest-to-God intentions, we end up feeling like failures because we cannot pull ourselves together to love them. Yes, even the best of us Christ-followers may try to love but when it comes down to it, we eventually fail when we are face-to-face with our arch-enemy. I’m sure all of us reading this blog-post might honestly admit that when faced with our enemy, we will find it impossible to love our enemy.
This is why some people would prefer to walk across the street just to avoid them, or to hide somewhere where we will never see our nemesis. Out-of-sight…out-of-mind, right? After realizing how truly difficult it is to swallow the pill of being unable to love those who are unlikable, we might admit and confess to the Lord God that “I have failed to love my neighbor as I would like others to love me.”
1 John 4 is John’s love chapter. First John 4:7-9 says:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”
When I look at Christ’s command to love, I am confronted with my own weakness and failure. I might think to myself, either, I am not Christlike enough, or have failed to obey his command to love. Shall I be fatalistic and say that: I can never totally love like only Christ can love? Or shall I fall down before God and confess that this is truly an impossible task to love my neighbor? And that I don’t know God as I ought to know him.