Written by: Amy Dalke
There are people I just don’t like.
They just have this way about them….and it’s irritating.
Every time I’m around them, I just want to poke my eyes out.
Because that would be more enjoyable.
Do you ever run across these people?
Probably not. I bet you have a heart full of rainbows and sunshine for everyone you meet.
I wish I did.
But there are people I come across who are just plain unlovable.
They have prima donna attitudes. Ungrateful people.
People who chew with their mouth open.
These are people I find it difficult to love.
(Okay, maybe the last category is a bit extreme.) (Until you’re sitting next to someone smacking on gum, and you just want to scream. Or punch them.)
It’s just so flipping easy to judge people because they are not me.
They don’t act like I think they should.
I’m pretty sure we all run into people for whom we don’t hold fond feelings. (To put it nicely.)
This intense dislike is rooted in our own broken parts, but we prefer to gloss over that. Because it’s easier to point out their ugliness, than to admit our own.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I act as though Jesus separates sinners into certain categories: “The Ones He Died For” and “The Ones For Whom He Shouldn’t Have”.
It’s like I think God is happy to cut-and-paste his mercy over my favorite sins, but when it comes to judging my neighbor….well, tickets to the mercy seat just sold out.
How do we so easily forget that Those Other People have hearts and minds and feelings and issues and painful life stuff?
Just like us.
How do we so effortlessly buy the lie that we are so much better than “that” person.
Is it because our sin is more acceptable? Because the gross parts of our own heart just clean up a little better?
Easter reminded me that the unlovely people are exactly the ones Jesus loves.
We are the unlovely people.
Easter is all about love. A big, fat, redemptive love.
The kind that reaches beyond our defined cookie cutter boundaries of Lovable and Unlovable.
The Jesus kind of love doesn’t pick and choose the big sinners from those who only sin on weekdays.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them, and was raised again.”
Since I believe He died for me, my life is to be driven by His love….not by own wishes, wants, and whims.
John 13:34-35: “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.”
God’s love is all over the place in the Bible. And we can’t edit the challenging parts. Like the one that says He died for all. Or the parts that talk about loving other people like Christ loved us.
I fall so short.
There are some days I don’t make it two miles from church before I’m already acting all selfish and such. (Especially if I stop at the grocery store. Which is prime territory for some people to get in my way.)
I’m just too quick to shake my finger at the errors in other people; and I can talk all day about how they should improve.
What would it look like to be more filled with the love of Jesus than we are filled with ourselves?
What if the redemptive love we celebrated yesterday actually changed the way we love?
Let’s live today differently…let’s live in the awareness that every single person we meet is someone that God loves…regardless of our own blind, preconceived opinions.
Because we can’t look into the face of Easter and think that redemptive, all-consuming, sacrificial love is only for the good people.
It was for us, too.