As a Christian, you’re supposed to set a good example for others to follow. The idea is, if you act like Jesus by modeling the fruit of the holy spirit—i.e., joy, peace, tolerance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and love—people you come into contact with will want to become Christians, too. Thus, the Bible instructs Christians to love everyone, including their enemies.
If you only love the people you like, so what? Matthew 5:46-47 asks. “Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
Later, Matthew 22:37 says the greatest commandment in the Bible is to “[l]ove the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Next, Matthew 22:39 says, you need to love other people as much as you love yourself.
If you don’t want to read the entire Bible, just remember those two things, T.D. Jakes said. “Love God and love people. C’mon, this is Christianity for dummies. You can do this. Love God and love people. You don’t have to speak Greek, you don’t have to speak Hebrew—just love God and love people. It’s easy!”
Well, we all know better than that. Some people are despicable. Some even derive pleasure from hurting us or plotting against us. Thankfully, as the All About God blog noted, the Bible doesn’t order us to like those people. But God will lead us to show them the biblical definition of love, which is selfless and unconditional. For example:
God Made Joyce Meyer Buy a House for and Take Care of the Father Who Sexually Abused Her
“God put it in my heart as [my parents] were getting older that I needed to buy them a house and take really good care of them until they died,” she said. “Well, that was the last thing in the world I wanted to do because the first thing I said to God was, ‘Well, what did they ever do for me?'”
He replied that they gave her life.
Understandably, she still didn’t want to obey God’s command, but she wound up realizing that “[l]ove is the highest form of spiritual warfare” when her father got saved.
“It took three years of taking him to the doctors, making sure their bills got paid, making sure the grass got cut, making sure they got groceries,” she said. “Finally one morning, my mother said, ‘Your dad’s been crying all week, he wants you to come over so he can tell you something.’ All these years, my father had never apologized, never even admitted what he did. But on that day, in tears, he said, ‘I am so sorry for what I did to you when you were a kid.'” He got baptized 10 days later. “I thought I was buying a house, but I was buying a soul,” she said.
How to Love Someone Who Hurt You
According to Joyce, you have to love people on purpose. “I can’t wait to feel like it,” she said. “I can’t wait to want to. I can’t wait to think it’s fair. And I have to study it, study it, study it, [and] keep it in front of me all the time because our flesh is inherently selfish and self-centered.”
That’s something that Christians need to get over, she said. “Grow up. Get your mind off of yourself. If God just wanted us to be happy, he could just beam us up to heaven. He keeps us here and tries to grow us up because of others.”
Plus, she said, “No matter how ridiculous someone’s actions may be, no matter how unjust, no matter how uncaring or unfeeling, if we will do what God is asking us to do and do everything that we can to stay out of strife, I believe that God will bless us.”