'Love never fails...' 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV
Forming a negative opinion based on appearance takes less than seven seconds (or so science says). That means, in less time than you can read this paragraph (maybe even this sentence), you can meet someone and decide you don't like them. But John writes: '...Anyone who does not love his brother... cannot love God...' (1 John 4:20 NIV)
That means that if you go around dismissing people, you 'cannot love God'. That is tough. Crazy tough. People can be really difficult to love. You try so hard to be nice and they're just... ugh. Reality check. There are times when you're hard to love, too. God sees you when you do those really rubbish things. The things that, if anyone else did them, would make you facepalm and sigh. Yet God still loves you as fiercely as a mother lion loves her cubs.
Actually more so. He loves you enough to give up His life for you, and He's raring to share that ability to forgive and love. If you ask Him, He'll teach you how to love other people as fiercely as He does. And if you unleash that kind of love on the world, something incredible is going to happen.
And here's how to do it practically: you know that annoying person, the one you pretend not to see when you pass by them. Pray that God will do good things for them.
And don't stop there.
Next time you see that person, say hello, ask them how they are, and really listen to the answer. Maybe even have a whole conversation. You might surprise yourself when you discover that love works.
SoulFood: Zeph 1-3, Lk 9:18-33, Ps 42:6-11, Prov 19:15-17
word4U2day (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by UCB Australia. 2014 UCB International Ltd