I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.  By this all people wil know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35 HCSB).”

I love this verse and I also don’t love this verse.  I know as a believer I am called to love others. This seems easy, really.  Love people.  How hard can it be?  If I use 1 Corinthians 13 as my template for loving others it seems kind of sweet and wonderful.  But when I get down into verses 5-7 it starts to get tough.

“[Love] does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.  Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (HCSB).”

Oh.  Wait.  I am supposed to love someone and do it selflessly?  I am supposed to love someone and not remind them of all the ways they have failed me?  I am supposed to “endure all things?”  What kind of commandment is that!?!?

I am reminded of a song from Sunday School days:

“This is my commandment that you love one another, that your joy may be full. / This is my commandment, that you love one another, that your joy may be full.  /That your joy may be full, that your joy may be full. / This is my commandment that you love one another, that your joy may be full.”

Wow.  So by loving someone, even those who are difficult and prickly, I am being filled(through the Holy Spirit’s help) with joy.  Hmmm.  I know I will need prayer and help when the Prickly People start to poke at me. 

Heavenly Father,  You have commanded me to love one another.  Not when I feel like it and even when I really don’t want to.  I must love them like You do.  Without expecting love in return, often not receiving love in return.  I must love them. 

I know that loving them doesn’t mean liking everything he or she does, but I do know that by saying I am Your disciple, I am called to love.  Help me here, please.  I want to love others, even when it is loving sacrificially, with no hope of being loved in return.  Thank you Jesus, for hearing me.  I may have to pray this again in a few minutes, but thank you for hearing me now. Amen.

So.  I choose to love.  Even when it is hard. Loving when it is easy –that is easy.  Loving when I don’t feel like it?  That is when I will need help and I know that God will give it. 



About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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