We are called to Love God and Love others.
Who are the “others” we are called to love? Our husband, best friend, our children? Those are easy (or I hope they are) the “others” we are to love are all of those people but also and including:
The noisy neighbor
The person at work who just gets under our skin
Someone who’s beliefs aren’t like ours
Someone who has a different opinion or lifestyle
People we just don’t like
So what is love? Here is the definition I like:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Well said right?
The saying “love em’ where they are” has been on my heart lately. It is thrown around a lot when we are talking about those hard to love people. It reminds me of the southern saying “bless your heart” it sound great but its meaning is just the opposite.
I think the original intention of “love them where they are” was a good one. A message of non judgement. That even though we may not agree I still love you, I will still be kind to you, I will not be rude to you I will not judge you or talk poorly about you. My love will not be conditional.
I have noticed recently that this is not exactly what it means. We use it as a dismissal. A loop hole. A way of saying I am not judging you but I have no time for you in my life. I don’t agree with you or your opinion so I am going to occupy myself elsewhere. I don’t hate you I just don’t have time for you since it does not benefit me.
But love is not that. I can disagree or dislike someone but loving them is keeping them in my life inspite of that. It is being a part of their life so they know what love is. Many people we don’t like, agree or get along with bring up those same emotions in others in their lives. They need love more than anyone. They need to feel like they matter. We each have so much power to effect those around us. Power to change someone’s day with just a word or action. My prayer is that I never take that responsibility lightly.
There is not enough time to love everyone!! I get it. You can’t always say yes and some people make it very hard to love them. I think it is about examining you intentions. Being honest about your actions and emotions. Loving and enabling are two very different things.
So yes love someone where they are but make sure you are loving them.