I was recently intrigued by an article titled “Things Christians are Suppose to Hate” AS I read the many answers I saw in all reality I saw some unkind remarks coming from both sides. There was a claimer in the comments that this was not to include all Christians. I thought perhaps that should have been included in the first paragraph as I feel it that concept got a bit lost in the long run. This article is addressed to all Christians.
At the top of the list “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”. For a Christian this is at the top for a very good reason, it is because of His love that we know how to love. When you love someone at the depth that you are to love God everything you do should be done to please that person. That means following God’s precepts, by living a life that is an example of integrity not living by the standards of the world but by the standards that God has set forth. If one loves God in this way they will spend time with Him in prayer and meditation, you will spend time in His Word to understand and know His precepts and character. I know what my wife wants, needs and desires of me because I spend the time with her to understand her, the same can be said for our lev and relationship with God.
Second on the list, “Love you shall love your neighbor as yourself” There is two parts to this the first is “Love your Neighbor” Who is your neighbor? All you have to do is look around you the world is your neighbor. If you love like God loves He it is written that God so loved the world. We are to love all in the world just as God loves. There is not a person alive that is not worthy of love. It is amazing what affect that love has on those around us. Stop sometime and buy a meal for a homeless person and just sit and talk with them. The impact of that one small gesture of love can cause a never ending ripple. One point missed often times in this passage is that you are to love “yourself”. How can you expect to give love to others if you do not love yourself? This is not meant to be a narcissistic prideful love but a love and acceptance of who you are. There is nothing you can do that will keep God from loving you why is there things you do that stop you from loving you?
The third is one that many find difficult but is expected of all Christians “But I say to you, love your enemies” How am I to love those who despise me? Why do they deserve love? These are the questions we ask. The answer is, simple because God commands, if you love God then you will follow His precepts. God did not say He so loves the world as long as everyone loved Him. We are to accept and take that same precept with us. We may disagree with those around us, we may find some of their actions appealing and sinful. That does not mean we are to stop loving them. Remember as a Christian Jesus died for you even when you were deep in your sin, why would our love be any less for those around us.
Lastly “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” There is two points I would like to make. The first is that the way we love one another is the way we are known to be of Christ. Christ went on to say that they will know you are Mine by the way you love one another. Just like any family there will be troubles, there will be differences, but there must always be love. The second point is that if you love someone you want to be with them, this applies to God as much as it does to one another. I too often see Christians say they do not need a church or other Christians, they are fine on their own. Yet if we are to love one another as Christ loves us then we should gather together and show that love for one another. Nowhere is Scripture is there a lone Christian, they all had people around them to encourage them, teach them, mourn with them, laugh with them and hold them accountable when the need arises.
Things Christians are to love, there so much more to say but I am sure that it will be said in the comments. I will leave you with this. “ Love suffers long and is kind ; love does not envy; love dost not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked think no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, endures all things, love never fails…… And now abide faith, hope and love these three, but the greatest of these is love”