I’m just gonna say it- some people are hard to love.  It’s true.  You know it.  I know it.  We all know it. 


Some people are hard to love. 


But, Pastor Dennis said something that really got to me in our staff meeting this week.  He said that this Christian life is not just about loving Jesus, it’s about loving Judas too.  Ouch.  Ugh.  That stung a little.  I mean… have I mentioned that some people are hard to love?


But, “I love everybody”, you say.  Sure.  From a distance.  But when you get up close and personal, it becomes a bit harder doesn’t it?  The good news is, there are different kinds of love. I mean…


I love sweet tea.

And I love my home.

And I love my children.

And I love my husband.

And I love Jesus. 


But all in different ways.  I mean I REALLY love sweet tea.  But I don’t love sweet tea like I love my husband. And I don’t love my husband like I love Jesus.  It’s different. The English language only has one word for love. But scripture uses several different words for love.


Eros is romantic love between a man and a woman.


Phileo is the brotherly love we feel for friends and companions.


Storge is familial love. It is the love family members have for each other.


But agape is God’s love—the love He has for everyone and the love He commands us to give.


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)


The greek word for love used in this scripture is ἀγαπᾶτε or agapate/agape. Agape love is defined as “to love, value, esteem, feel or manifest generous concern for, be faithful towards; to delight in”.


So if you think about it, you can agape even those you don’t like, because to agape is a choice. Agape is love in action. It’s not a love filled with emotions and desires like eros or phileo or storge. Agape is not based on feelings, it’s based on actions. It’s not something you feel– it’s something you do. God is not commanding that we become best friends with everyone and tend to their every need. But He does command us to act in love and kindness towards everyone.


I must admit though, sometimes even that is hard.  So what do you do?  What do you do when you’re struggling to agape someone?  You pray.  It works.  I promise.  There was a time in my life when I was really struggling with this.  I prayed and asked God to increase my love for a certain person and for Him to increase their love for me.  And HE DID IT!  I’m not kidding.  Full force.  And if He did it for me, He can do it for you. 


Sincerely pray this simple prayer with me:

Heavenly Father, Lord, I’m struggling. Please help me to love _________ and increase________’s love for me.  Fill me with Your love for them.  And fill them with Your love for me.  Help me to focus on the good in them and them the good in me.  Let our actions and our words toward each other bring glory and honor to You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Teresa Breeding
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