Friend, I have a feeling there is someone hard to love sitting right in front of you.
I know you have all the the reasons to ignore her. She’s rejected you. She’s high-maintenance. She’s critical. She’s a downer. She’s arrogant. She’s self-centered. She’s cold. She said ugly things about you. She took advantage of you. She told your secrets.
She’s hard to love, so you’d rather just not love her.
Our culture says go ahead. And we tend to subscribe to these relational soundbites: surround yourself with those who make you happy/follow your heart/do what feels right.
I know this feels so good, but there really is a richness in pursuing the one who is not easy to love; or the one we tend to bump up against; or the friendship that feels a bit clanky.
There really is something there for you in that.
Jesus hung out with prominent Pharisees who stepped all over Him.
She doesn’t have to be your best friend, but maybe she can still be your friend. Maybe you can still include her.
Sometimes, loving the hard ones is less about the love we give and more about the sanctification we get.
Sometimes, a campaign of love toward the hard one helps us eventually feel that love toward her.
Sometimes, loving the hard one means accepting that we, ourselves, are also the hard one.
Culture tells us to find the people who make us happy.
Loving the hard ones probably won’t do that.
But it will make us holy.
—And friend, there is great joy in that.
“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.” (Luke 6:32-33 NIV.)