What is "Loving" Those We Dislike?
This year we are "Loving our neighbor" the way Jesus commanded us to, But what if your neighbor is not kind to you? or simply against you? John Wesley not only gave us a helpful way to stay unified when we disagree, but he also gave us 5 ways we can show love to those who we differ....disagree... compete with in the non-essentials (non-essential=anything that does not have to do with the rout to salvation *Jesus' Blood) for the purposes of this post we will refer to them as "speedbumps"
1) treat enemies(speedbumps) as companions.
2) do not think or speak evil of them or about them.
3) Pray for them.
4) Encourage them to do well in what they do.
5) Collaborate with them in ministry
These words of wisdom give us a framework for understanding what it means to not only get along with but also love fellow Christians that we disagree with. Unfortunately the reality of these "speedbumps" being in our life is one that we have to learn how to work with. The reason being that they will always be in your life. So its best to learn how to love them because you cannot avoid them.
What Do I Do Now?
This week try to implement these Five Guidelines for the people in your life you disagree with, here is a rough guide to get you started....
Treat them as companions- If it is someone you know, invite them to go out to lunch with you and simply enjoy their company and try to get to know them. If it is a particular church or group of people then find a way to spend time with them ang get to know them.
Do not think or speak evil of them or about them- Simply put....stop pointing out the things you dislike about that person/group of people to others. Instead talk about the things you have in common (like salvation in Jesus, or the desire to see broken people restored)
Pray for them- Make that person or group of people a specific point of your prayers this week. pray for their success, their well-being, their needs, their family, and of course their relationship with Jesus.
Encourage them to do well in what they do- As you sit with them over lunch, or during the worship service, or just as you see them from time to time, take the time to encourage them and tell them all the things you admire about them and point out the good they are doing.
Collaborate with them in ministry- If at all possible, find a way to work with them on something in regards to the Kingdom. Work together to meet a need, serve at the same non-prophet, and then see what kind of work the Holy Spirit does in the hearts and minds of both parties. God does amazing things when we let Him in.
Jesus took the time to love those who hated him, and even taught with grace those who spoke evil of him. If we want to follow Jesus then we should do the same.