Lately our Bible study has been focused on 1 Peter. It’s a letter written to the persecuted church. Believers were scattered and scared. Peter encourages them to continue to be faithful and to behave as they’ve been taught. He points out that we are but sojourners, aliens in this world.
We’ve been talking about what it means to be aliens. What makes us different? What makes us stand out? One of the biggest differences is in the way we love. We are called to love unconditionally. We are called to love those who hate, mock, and persecute us.
We all have people in our lives who are hard to love. It isn’t easy to love people who treat you badly. Loving them isn’t about feelings as much as it is about attitude and actions. You don’t have to be a doormat for people who treat you poorly. You do need to pray for them and carefully consider your response. Watch your language. Make sure your responses are about their words or actions, not personal, character attacks. Walk away if necessary.
It’s not natural. It’s not easy. It’s not what people expect. It’s not even logical. It’s alien. That’s kind of the point. It’s also not possible to do under our own power.
Let Jesus love those people through you—even the ones that are hardest to love.