“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
(John 13:34 NIV)
I’ve come to realize that in the Christian life, God will often test us to see just how much we practice what we preach. Love is one of them. We can talk, sing and write about love, but when we’re put in a situation where others are hard to love, it shows just how much we mean what we say.
It’s easy to love people when they’re good to us. But when they’re not or they do something to disappoint us, we don’t feel the same way. But loving as Jesus has loved us means loving the person despite their faults (and let’s face it, we’ve all got them!). Jesus told the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, who had brought an adulterous woman to be stoned, to go ahead and throw the first stone at her if they were without any fault or sin (John 8:7). They eventually dropped their stones because they realized that none of them were sinless.
We don’t have to approve of people’s bad choices or behaviours, but we can still choose to love them because that’s what Jesus does for us every day. He hates sin, but loves the sinner. It’s only when we have this understanding of His love for us that we too can begin to love people for who they are, despite their faults.