That guy who cut me off in traffic? I still love him. That girl who shut me out? I still love her. That person that broke my heart? I still love them. I have forgiven them. And I will continue to treat others with love because it is what Jesus did and asks me to do, too.
You and I are called to love every single person on this earth. No matter their past, background, or present choices. No matter their reputation, their attitude, or their actions. No matter if they were mean to me. No matter what they did to me. No matter what they said about me. They are God’s child, and I am God’s child, so, therefore, we are brothers and sisters. Even Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters in Hebrews 2:11 – “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”
Loving others is an active demonstration of your love for God. We all know that it is extremely difficult to love others wholeheartedly, especially when they act unlovable. It is even harder to love them when they do things and say things against you. It is not easy to feel like loving someone when they’ve just hurt you deeply. Making that choice to love someone despite what they did or said takes more than just willpower; it takes an entirely different lens. It takes looking at that person through God’s eyes, seeing them as He sees them, and treating them as such. Defending them as such. Loving them as such. It is a simple command from the Lord: love God and love others.
Love comes from God, so even when we don’t “feel” like loving others, we are called to do so anyway. Start to move beyond just what you feel and move toward what the Lord expects of you. Begin to look at people as loved, cherished, and worthy because that is how their Father sees them. What if, while Jesus was on this earth, he just decided that he didn’t feel like loving everyone all of a sudden? Think about the nasty, slanderous words that were thrown at him daily, the doubts that people had about him, the murderous plotting that was happening against him, and the excruciating death that awaited him…yeah, if I had all of that coming toward me, I probably would’ve tucked my tail and fled town. I would’ve looked at my immediate feelings instead of the ultimate mission and jumped ship. I would’ve left the people to fend for themselves.
But Jesus didn’t do that.
He persevered by love, through love, for us. None of us deserve that kind of love, but He gives it (and gives immeasurably more) to us anyway. Jesus had no fear, and that makes sense because God says, “Perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
So when some say that love makes people crazy, I would agree with them. Maybe selfless love seems crazy from an outside perspective because it’s not normal. And isn’t that sad? It’s sad that it is a rarity to find a person that just lives their life while loving everyone. It is disappointing that we seldom find people that don’t think twice about extending forgiveness. I notice that the scarcity of kind, loving people on this earth makes us appreciate those crazy, kind, loving people more. But maybe they aren’t crazy. Maybe they’re just following Jesus’ lead.
How wonderful it would be if love was the norm for all people. Maybe it can at least be your norm. Because love was Jesus’ norm, and He’s far from crazy.