“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5: 44.
To love people is beyond the realm of feelings – It is a decision! In other words, you have made up your mind to look beyond their shortcomings. The ability to love unconditionally is a gift from God. Thus, the more of God you have in you, the better you can love people beyond their mistakes. 1 John 4: 8 says “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” You must learn to take up the character of your heavenly Father. He is LOVE and not just a loving Father. That means He is the embodiment of love.
You must learn to accept people the way they are. Everyone is unique in his or her own way. If the shortcoming is such that you cannot handle or really accept, pray for the person otherwise accept the person in love. You cannot love or accept the one you do not know. So painstakingly learn to know the person. I am sure you would find beautiful aspects of the individual to fall in love with. Capitalize in these areas to the point that it overshadow the shortcomings. Despite Judas Iscariot’s faults, the master still love him and included him among the disciples He sent out on different occasions to preach to the household of Israel.
The one you always pray for, you would love. Is it really possible not to love an individual you always pray for? That would be hypocritical. When you learn to pray for people, you would automatically love them. You do not have to feel like praying for them, rather you make it a habit, what you unconsciously do. As you constantly pray for them you would begin to see less of their mistakes, but their comparative advantages.
If you say you love God and do not love and accept people, the bible described you as a liar. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4: 20. I am sure you do not like to be called or described as a liar. Well, it is beyond that. Genuinely love and accept people the way they are. Remember that God is not a man and cannot be deceived. He would know if your love is actually genuine or not.
Love people unconditionally. God Himself, showed us how to do this in Romans 5: 8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Can you see that? While you were a sinner; with so many mistakes, God demonstrated His love for you by sending Jesus Christ to die for your sins and mistakes. As a child of God, demonstrate the love of God in you and love people unconditionally.
by Natalie Peterson (AFRICA WORLD MAGAZINE)