Loving the unlovely means that you choose to act in a way that goes beyond the surface feelings of self.
I had been struggling to like my husband. I loved him That was never an issued. I just didn’t like him all that much.
His actions and attitude had not been that far out of normal for him, but my funnel for dealing with others had apparently cracked. My focus fixated on “what have you done for me lately,” and the more I focused there the less my funnel worked.
Other things piled and chocked out my desire to see beyond me.
A me focus never works out well for anyone. My friend, Vicki, once said when you are crying out, MEEEEEE, it’s like applying the brakes on possibility thinking. It even sounds like you are applying the breaks.
And things kept getting worse.
Even reasonable words were irrationally heard. It wasn’t the fault of my husband. It wasn’t the fault of the guy on the phone. It wasn’t the fault of my son.
I had called a friend to rant on how everyone else was messed up and I was on my way to visit another friend’s website to rant there when God stepped in the way. He used a popup message on my social media feed to remind me not to let the little stuff look so big – and isn’t it all small stuff in comparison.
Just in case I wasn’t paying attention, the teacher of the Bible study class I was in called me to see if I would substitute for her that night. The subject was about how we have to find our way for loving the unlovely and it focused on the story in Luke where Christ talked about how we are to love those that despise us.
I got the message. I had gotten the message even before having to teach the lesson. It is not all about me. When I make the choice to love even when I may not be getting the love that I want then I am acting towards God and not towards man.
When you make the intentional choice to love – an annoying spouse, and angry neighbor, and telemarketer – it is not my feelings that I’m sharing but God’s feelings poured out through me.
Finding the Way to Love the Unlovely
- Make the choice not to look at the person. If you decide to act based on the other person then you will act according to the other person. If you make the choice to act without that limit then you will be positioned to love beyond the limit.
- Make a choice not to act based on feelings. If you are tired, hungry, or frustrated then you will respond based on those feelings. If you choose to act with a focus on love then you will respond from a place of love.
- Make the choice to not act according to the past. Previous experiences will cloud the ability to see the possibilities. If you choose to act with a present focus – or even a future focus then you will be able to love from a pure heart and not one clouded by the past.
Loving others even when they are not acting in a way that you prefer is a choice. Love is always a choice. Choose to love by loving God and through that love to love the unlovely.
What keeps you from loving others?
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