It’s what makes the world go around, some say.
It’s what will keep us together, according to a song from my youth.
It’s rooted in God, according to the Bible.
So why is it so complicated?
The short answer is we make it complicated. The longer answer is that our predisposition toward sin affects how we love, and how we view love.
But as God loves us unconditionally, so he calls his people to love others unconditionally.
This is especially difficult with people we find hard to love. They may be people with whom we disagree on an important matter, or people whose personal hygiene makes us uncomfortable, or people who have hurt us in some way.
We may think that we can’t love these people on our own. And that’s true. We can’t love them on our own.
But as followers of Jesus – recipients of this love of the Father that sent his Son to the cross for our sins – we have the Holy Spirit living in and through us, and that is why we can love those we find hard to love.
Here’s a challenge for you and for me: think of someone you know whom you consider hard to love. Pray for that person to know the Lord and to serve him. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you love him or her. And, amid physical distancing requirements, act in some way to show love to that person in the coming week.
Then, focus on another person, and do it again. And again. And again. You get the idea.
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (1 John 4.11-12, NLT).