Love Is Not Optional

Moving escalator stairs, love hate signI grew up seeing love in action with my family. For the most part, my siblings all loved one another. We were good at defending our “turf”, but we loved one another and still do. My parents displayed love for one another as well as others. We don’t usually get to choose our family, but we are blessed when our family becomes close friends. I did learn that there are people who were harder to love. It’s hard to love people who are mean and hateful. It’s hard to love people who take advantage of my kindness. It’s hard to love people whom I perceive to be foolish. The commands of The Word are to love everyone. I’m confident that there are no exceptions. This is a hard command and one that I will keep working on.

John, the Apostle is writing to a prominent lady in the church and his words jumped into my heart this morning. Check this out…

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I ask you, dear lady—not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love. (2 John 1:4-6 CSB)

The way I read this, if I don’t love, then I’m not walking in the truth. Ouch! I do need His help to love people who are difficult to love. My Mom used to say that “you can find something good in everyone, if you just look hard enough”. The Lord has given new lenses to my eyes. If I can look through eyes of love that comes from Him, I can see the value of other people – even the difficult people.

If I remember what it’s like to be rejected and unloved, then I can find it easier to show love to others. I also think it’s important for Christians to remember what it was like to be lost. One of the strongest commands of The Word is to humble myself. If I’m humbled, I can love anyone. If I’m proud of my accomplishments and my status, then I will find it harder to love the unlovely or hard to love people.  Love is a broad and big word that brings healing and hope to so many. God so loved that He gave His Son for the world. In loving us, He gave. Love is not optional for me as a follower of Jesus. I love because He loved me. I know what it feels like to be loved and accepted. I know what it feels like to be scorned and rejected. I love being loved. I decided many years ago that I want to love like He loves.

Pressing On!



  1. Susan Ballentine says

    Just a question here. He starts by recognizing that some of her children were walking in truth, and then encourages her to follow the instruction. “So now I ask you, dear lady…that we love one another.” Do you think that is because she was struggling with a child that wasn’t? I could never quit loving one of my children but I know my patience grows very thin at times. Do you think this was encouragement for that kind of scenario?

  2. says

    Hey Susan – Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment and ask a question. I did a little research about who this “dear lady” that John was writing too. Some schools of thought believe it was an actually lady who was instrumental in building the church and others think it was a reference to the church as the bride of Christ. I think he was writing truth about love in general, but it certainly applies to rebellious children, difficult spouse, rude people – really anyone. Love is a powerful force and with God providing the strength for me to love, I can truly love anyone deeply. I believe our discipline of our children must be dripping with love and grace. It will change them as well as the parent. Thanks again for the engagement.

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