As Christians, we are called to love… everyone, all the time. In Matthew 5:43-47, Jesus says:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
As followers of Jesus, we are called to love our friends and family and our enemies. We are called to love those we agree with and those with whom we don’t agree. We are called to love other Christians and people who don’t believe the same.
Right now, in the midst of great division, love matters more than ever. But it also might be the time that you find it harder than ever to live out this command to love.
Jesus doesn’t tell us to love others only when we feel like it. He tells us to love and pray for each other, even our enemies, regardless. If you are struggling to love others right now, follow these 5 tips for how to love others when you don’t feel like it.
1. Fake It Till You Make It
You’ve probably heard the saying, “fake it till you make it.” This can be said for many things in life, one of them being loving others. Even if you don’t feel like someone deserves love, love them anyway. Show acts of love and kindness regardless of the situation. Showing love when you don’t feel like it can be as simple as smiling at someone or praying for them in private. Just because you don’t feel like loving someone doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You simply have to fake it till you make it.
2. Ask God to Give You Strength to Love
Praying for others is a true sign of love, even if it is done in private. But you may also find yourself needing to pray for yourself. If you are having a hard time showing love because someone has wronged you in the past or continues to hurt you in the present, pray and ask God for grace and strength to love them even when you don’t feel like it. God is love, and He knows how to love those who don’t deserve it. When you pray and ask God to help you, He will.
3. Remember that Love Doesn’t Always Mean Acceptance
One of the biggest roadblocks to love is the idea that loving someone means agreeing and accepting their wrongdoings. This is simply not true. You can love someone and still not agree with them. Love doesn’t make what someone is doing right or acceptable. It simply shows that your love for them is unconditional. That even in their wrongdoing, you will show them the love of Christ by extending grace.
4. Read the Bible
If you are having a hard time loving someone when you don’t feel like it, open your Bible to get encouraged. When Jesus was on the earth, there were a lot of people who didn’t like Him. People lied about Him, tried to diminish His ministry, and even went as far as to try to kill Him multiple times. Yet, through it all, Jesus not only showed love but instructed His followers to do the same. Talk about inspiration! When you need to find reasons to love others even when they have wronged you or hurt you, open your Bible and look to Jesus.
5. Wear Love Christian T-Shirts as a Constant Reminder
It is so easy to get caught up in what someone is doing wrong that you forget the command to love regardless. Wearing a Love Christian t-shirt is a great reminder to live as Jesus did and love unconditionally. Fortunately, at All Things By Faith, we have a large selection of “Love” products that you can wear daily.
Shop Love Christian Apparel at All Things By Faith
Jesus didn’t say loving your enemies would be easy, He simply said to do it. And if we’re being honest, sometimes loving your friends and family can be just as difficult. Again, do it anyways. We are called to love because Jesus loves us. And we are able to love because we have Jesus’ love as an example of how we are to live our lives. This is a beautiful and encouraging thing.
We are called to love even when we don’t feel like it, but we aren’t alone. We have the perfect example of love to follow. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus concludes His statement on love by saying, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” While we will never achieve perfection, we can practice loving others with the perfect love of Jesus.
Shop our “Love” collection today and remember to show love always!