Some people are hard to love.
Some people make it hard to love them.
Some people I make it hard to love them.
We talked about this idea of the temporal nature of our understanding of God and his love on Wednesday. I think this applies really nicely to people WE make it hard on ourselves to love.
I really dislike Tom Brady.
He’s a quarterback for the New England Patriots. I have no reason to dislike him. He’s really good at what he does. I know nothing about him as a person, but he bugs me.
But it’s entirely arbitrary and we do this alllll the time.
Sometimes however we may not realize how arbitrary our dislike may be. We may feel justified and assured that we not being arbitrary but objective. These are facts.
Let’s look at woman and the way they were treated 100 years ago. Can’t you hear people talking as if the idea that women are less than man is an objective truth as opposed to some contrived opinion?
No, no, no this isn’t’ arbitrary it just a fact, women are less than men. Women are still great and all but just not as good.
As if the idea that women might be equal to men was so ludicrous it was like arguing the sky isn’t actually blue. Common, just look up, it’s clearly blue.
But what about us now? When do we do this? Because lets be absolutely clear, we all do. We think these things are objective but they aren’t and we do this.
It might be the way we treat or think of someone who is poor or marginalized, “it’s just a fact, if they didn’t want to be poor or tried at all they wouldn’t be.”
Pick whatever you want, “look it’s sin and I will not tolerate it.”
The real problem for me is that we think we’re a) not really making a choice and b) consistent.
There are people you would treat different because of their sin (mistakes, ideas, actions, hate, whatever). But there are other people, who still sin and continue to do so, that you don’t treat different because of their sin.
Why do you care that this person is a drunk but not that your friend lies a little? Why does one get your love but not the other?
Or even better, this person is a liar but my friend, a professed Christian, doesn’t really serve at all, but that’s ok.
You rate out their sin and think some are ok and some aren’t. You choose what sins actually matter and which don’t.
You are called to love them, period.
Don’t think you do it? Here’s an exercise that won’t probably be all the fun but may be helpful.
Ask yourself “how would I treat someone I love in this situation?” When your with someone who bugs you and before you react place a friend you love in their place and not the person whom your choosing to judge. How would you act if it was your friend? How are you going to act now?
Don’t let you sense of rightness or your assumption that you’ve understood all of how God wants you to love stop you from loving. Don’t let your idea of objectivity allow you to treat someone with less than you are called to give them, which is your love, wholly and unabated.
Because history has shown us, we’re wrong on some of this.