“…and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you…” 1st Thessalonians 3:11-12
I once tweeted this on Twitter: “Jesus loves you… and I’m trying.” I’m sure some people raised their eyebrows and were confused. I know it sounds harsh. Shouldn’t a pastor love everyone? Yes. But pastors, like all humans, are sinners. Pastors don’t always love people… even in their church or immediate family!
So there you have it. The cat is out of the bag! I struggle to love people. I hope that brings some encouragement to you. I hope you realize that you are normal if you struggle to love people in your life- even if those people are at Grace Baptist Church. Even if one of those people you struggle to love is me! I’m okay with it. I’m okay with it if you admit your struggle and then call on God for grace to love me or the other “unlovables” in your life.
Paul knew this. Paul knew that “normal” humans are sinners who struggle to love other sinners. That’s why he prayed for the Thessalonians that the Lord would make them increase and abound in love for one another. Only the Lord can do it. Only God can enable you to love those people that you don’t love because God is the expert in loving people who are unlovable. Case in point: He loves you! (You did know that sometimes even you are unloveable, yes?) Thank God He loves us! God is love and He alone can enable you to love those people who get under your skin and whose very presence is like nails on a chalkboard to you.
Jesus loves you… and I’m trying.