Love the Unlovely


Look past others' offenses and see their need. Just as God does, love — not because you’re told to, but because that’s who you are.

God is love, we’re told. In other words, he’s so identified with love that it’s almost his identity. His other attitudes—hatred of sin and brokenness, zeal for his purposes, joy and jealousy over his people—all serve his core motive of love. He seeks the best for everyone and gives it to those who will receive it.

That means, of course, that we are like our Father when we love others. Jesus said so, even applying love to our enemies and saying that makes us like God (Matthew 5:43-48). In fact, being able to do so is mark of completion or maturity. It isn’t easy, but when we realize that every “problem person” out there is fundamentally broken, our compassion increases. We stop seeing enemies and start seeing needs.

Everyone is wounded, and only some are healed. Many try desperately to find healing through all sorts of unhelpful means, and sometimes that creates abrasive personalities. Learn to see the heart, the pain, the insecurities, the holes that beg all those futile attempts to fill them. Look past the offenses and see the need. Like God, love—not because you’re told to but because that’s who you are. You are being remade into the image of your Father, and he not only loves; he is love.

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