Do to others as you would have them do to you.There are times in my life when it's easy to love. My love for my children is as close to unconditional as it gets. When everyone is in agreement, when people are kind to you, when you feel like it, love is easy to give. There are even times when I have myself convinced that I love people without any strings whatsoever. Perhaps this is how I would like to be, but more times then not I have something to gain.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.
And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
Over the past few years I have been intrigued by the idea of loving people without strings. Loving people when I have nothing to gain. Loving people like Jesus did. I read a great book on the topic called 'Love Walked Among Us" by Paul Miller. I have written about love before on this blog. It's been an area in my life that I have felt called to grow in, to understand better, and to live out in my life. Perhaps that is why I was so impacted by a line in a book I read recently.
"Inconvenient love...it is what Christians are called to." --Joanna Weaver
I had never heard love put quite that way before. Inconvenient. How often do I allow myself to be inconvenienced so that I can love someone else? Any Mother can tell you that inconvenient love is a part of being a Mom. It's probably the closest I have been to loving inconveniently, and yet, they are my children. I have good reason to love them that way. What about other people, strangers, other people's children, neighbors...even serving in my church?
May this idea of "inconvenient love" challenge you to cut the strings we often attach when we give love away.
May we re-evaluate how we decide when, who, and how we love others.
Because part of loving is sacrificing. Giving up our own interests in order to love others the way they need to be loved and allowing ourselves to be inconvenienced so we can put someone else first.