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Love 1: Love

Question:

How might you love someone you may not necessarily like?

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Transcript of Video:

Someone suggested to me that – as perhaps some Brothers have – that we need to make time to love or make time for love. I immediately felt a bit confused by that. I can understand “Time to work,” “Time to play…” “… to pray.” And “Time to love.” Ok, so where does that fit into the agenda? And what does that look like? And I think, of course, “God is love.” We are enveloped in God’s love all the time, and I think –certainly true for me – I’m largely unconscious of that most of the time. And that “Time to pray,” for example, is an invitation to become conscious of that love, and to try to call our attention back to that many times throughout the day.

Loving others: that’s also what we are commanded to, to love our neighbor as ourselves, to love God. They’re Commandments, and that often strikes me as something that is overlooked. We are commanded to love God. We are commanded to love one another. We don’t have to like it. So what that looks like for me, oftentimes, is that I have to do some intentional things to show love.

-Br. John Braught

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91 Comments

  1. Linda on March 31, 2015 at 12:06

    I always remind myself that Jesus loves them just as much as he loves me … so I can love them too.

  2. Sophfronia on March 29, 2015 at 14:39

    How do I love someone I may not like? By praying for them. When I do that I am consciously holding them in the light and praying for the best for them. I find when I practice this it helps the dislike to melt away. It takes a long time, though, which is why I must practice.

  3. Elizabeth S. on March 29, 2015 at 13:34

    Love for someone I don’t like can be on a spectrum. From simply not wishing them ill, to praying for their well being, to loving them unconditionally (as much as that is humanly possible).

  4. Libby on March 29, 2015 at 09:19

    For me, I am familiar with the notion of trying to love someone who I do not like. I was adopted at age 2 by my adopted father whom my mother had married. Throughout many years he was mean & abusive towards me. This made it very hard to love much less like him.
    I finally tried to understand him as a human being. When I was able to do that , I became able to forgive him & then finally develop loving (almost compassionate) feelings towards him.

  5. Jennifer on March 28, 2015 at 20:10

    One of my daughters teachers said at Open House that he lives out children before he likes them. That made such an impact with me. How true! I do love people, strangers, people I don’t even know yet.

    But people I don’t like: that’s a different story; let’s just call it a “work in progress”.

    • Jennifer on March 28, 2015 at 20:28

      “Love our” children*

  6. Michael deCamp on March 28, 2015 at 13:12

    Perform loving acts of kindness or service with a smile; act my way to loving them.

  7. Sue on March 28, 2015 at 11:48

    Pray for them

  8. Lissa Davis on March 27, 2015 at 11:18

    Not easily for sure. But I try to remember that the individual is going through trials also and that she is my sister in the Body of Christ. Therefore, I can love and support her and look beyond our differences.

  9. Lisa on March 25, 2015 at 09:12

    It is possible to have an overarching sense of appreciation and love for all peoples as God’s children and your fellow companions on this journey of life. For me, I can experience others as difficult, with values different than my own – yet strive to understand them and love them in spite of themselves. Care for them and want for their happiness and their welfare. This is how I see loving someone although not liking them.

  10. jane on March 24, 2015 at 23:10

    This question reminded me of what I said to my children when they were rude or just doing the wrong thing. I’d say “I still love you but I don’t like what you are doing.” I have met people I thought I would not like but I remembered my mother’s words to me when I said, “I can’t like him” My mother would say, There is no such word in this house. You need to understand his loneliness and you can think he has good points too.” I soon came round and feel it is much like that when we do not understand another person’s culture and so a different point of view. with love God shows us, we can try listening and be more sympathetic.
    Our attitude needs to be flexible and loving to accept a person we prefer not to meet.

  11. NA on March 24, 2015 at 12:37

    I think loving someone you do not like is somehow being willing to wish the best for them, to wish them life. Maybe this will take the form of something active, like offering food or water, or maybe it will take the form of refraining from doing or thinking evil in their direction.

    At one church I was in, this one woman elder and I simply did not get along. Whether we were too much alike or too different, I don’t know, but I felt the urge to grind my teeth when forced into working with her. I began to avoid her as much as possible, figuring that was the best I could do, and I think she may have avoided me, too.

    What eventually changed everything was both simple and profound. In this church, they practiced foot washing at a service during Lent. Well, you guessed it. God has a sense of humor, and the way things lined up, I was placed into a position where this woman was the one I was paired with for the washing. She who had offended me so greatly, who I did not, could not like, was going to wash my feet! Ack! No way!

    In my spirit, I resisted mightily. I even thought of refusing, sneaking off to the bathroom, anything but have her wash my feet! My pride did not want to allow her near me, let alone to have any part of me exposed. I felt so vulnerable sitting there, so humbled by the fact that she was willing to do this, too.

    And somehow, that is where the grace stole in and melted the frosty reserve between us. I got up with clean feet and a clean heart, with the animosity between us erased as if it had never been. To this day, I cannot remember what caused the original rift. It was washed away with the old water.

  12. Emily on March 24, 2015 at 10:14

    How might you? By renewing one’s efforts each day/time you have the chance to show love. By not giving up. By believing there is a bigger Love than the one we can even coprehend which will carry us through the challenge of “how”.

  13. Carrie on March 24, 2015 at 05:10

    To love someone you don’t like is to pray for them. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies andpto pray for those who persecute us. How often do we do this? How often do we pray for someone whom we simply don’t like or who offends us or who is not “easy” to love? By writing this I am praying that God will help me to love my “enemies” and pray for them. And that God will help me to love Him and to love the people in my life who are “easy” to love, but whom I’m sure I still don’t love as God would have me do.

  14. Marta e. on March 24, 2015 at 01:19

    These are all good answers. If each of us, including those whom I may not like as well as those who have done me harm, are each and every one of us a child of God, and made in God’s image, then, it takes work to “love” some more than others. This is the place of deep understanding of what it would be like to. Walk a mile. In their moccasins, think about their past, their days, their hopes and dreams being shattered also, etc. so, regular prayer for those family members can bring better understanding of their life, wishes. And dreams, toil and troubles. Only that which we would wish for ourselves, and only that which God gives me daily, grace to go forward with God’s love.
    I’ve

  15. Louise on March 23, 2015 at 20:40

    I have a neighbor who is very hard to like…yet alone love. Yet, she asked for help with something and I assisted her, even though it would have been very easy to just ignore her request. Then, within a week….she asked again. This time, I had a LOT going on in my own life that was taking not only my time but my physical and emotional energy. In spite of that, I assisted her, although I was rather abrupt with her. Today, I felt uncomfortable with how sharp I had been and asked her friend to explain I was sorry for how I reacted. I still don’t want to be a “friend” to this person, but I did treat her as I would have liked to have been treated.

  16. Patricia on March 23, 2015 at 19:28

    I left my husband because I did not like him any longer. I asked myself how could I so fiercely love and like our 3 children when they are half their father. I still have no answer and all I have for my former husband now is pity.

  17. suzanne robinson on March 23, 2015 at 19:09

    While on retreat this past weekend at SSJE, I had seen Sophie, the black labradoodle playing in the monastery garden and I longed to meet her. Following the Sunday Mass, all of the Brothers and guests had left the Sanctuary for luncheon except, Sophie and
    her Brother/guardian Robert L’Esperance. Robert,
    sensing my desire to meet Sophie, took time. gave
    the gift of time and and came over to me, first
    kneeling to Sophie’s height and then when Sophie
    came over, rising to sit on a chair beside me. Sophie
    nuzzled a bit which warmed my heart and Brother
    Robert and I had a wee visit. What touched me so
    was his generosity of heart to come and sit beside
    me when all others had left. Is not this the heart of
    both Love and Play .. to offer the gift of one’s self
    selflessly that God might be Glorified. Thank you
    Brother Robert and Thank you Sophie. Lenten
    mercies as we walk heart in heart with Jesus.

    I had the loveliest gift happen on the very last day
    of our retreat this past weekend. The Mass had
    ended, but the love continued.

  18. Nicki on March 23, 2015 at 18:43

    How might I love someone I might not necessarily like? This question is so gentle and softly put, considering the nature of the reaction It might receive, that I gave it a couple of days to consider. I know we are supposed to love each other regardless of how we feel about what our neighbors ,non- allies and so forth are doing. World wide, there are so many different people threatening the future of the populace of the earth, striving for self-recognition, fighting over whose religion is best? and how many more discordant focuses?
    I can’t help but ask, what would happen to me if I decided to love all these people, regardless of what they do, believe, push or destroy. Today I don’t have it in me, and it feels hard to believe this is honestly expected of me by God. God thought our world was unacceptable when he he caused the flood, and I remember, he promised never to do that again. How does God feel today? Things are so much worse. I have a lot to learn about love.

  19. Christine white on March 23, 2015 at 18:20

    Very hard indeed. I tend to try and understand I can shut the door on them and not have much to do with them but still pray for God to help me understand why I have a problem with them. I also just try to ignore nasty people and that sometimes softens the situation w them wondering what’s up and opening a conversation as to why we have s problem. I really try to find the good in everyone. Hard.

  20. David Bowring on March 23, 2015 at 16:49

    Praying for him to change won’t work. Usually you just get more angry. Better give up on that and look for a possibility of going doing something for him. At least say hello the next time you see him.

  21. Charles on March 23, 2015 at 16:27

    As you imply, it’s not hard to love someone who is lovable; what’s hard is to love someone unlikable or uninteresting.

    Years ago, I started wondering what would happen if I started pretending I loved people – what if I acted towards you as if I did love you?

    What I found was that my capacity for love and my understanding of love began to expand as I practiced this.

    I used to have a narrow understanding of love as romantic love. When I became a father I discovered a very different sort of love. As I practicing pretending that I loved people I met, I began to find them more lovable, more interesting. My heart-centered sphere of love expanded around me and began to stay active more of the time.

    I have found that spiritual activity, growing closer to God, Creation, and each other, is a practice, a daily, hourly practice. It doesn’t happen immediately. This practice of ‘pretense’ worked for me. It might work for you.

  22. David Cranmer on March 23, 2015 at 14:50

    Loving those whom I do not like has been something I’ve concerned myself with for several years. I have been helped by learning to pray for those I don’t like. It has indeed changed my attitude towards them and also my relationships with them. When Jesus tells us to love one another as He loved us, to me that says we are to love through action rather than through attitude. And what I attempt to do is make sure that my actions towards someone I don’t like are directed at putting their well-being first.

  23. Margaret Drumm on March 23, 2015 at 12:32

    By being polite, gracious, respectful, and considerate towards him or her. By not gossiping about him or her. By speaking directly and calmly if we have been wronged, rather than triangulating.

  24. Terri on March 23, 2015 at 09:38

    I pray for those I dislike.

  25. Dee Paine on March 23, 2015 at 07:16

    As a child, I was taught to pray for those that hurt me. I think this was the greatest gift my parents could give me, as it helped me to realize that we are all flawed and we all have the power to forgive and offer prayer (and love) to others, even those we don’t like. We can love someone that we don’t necessarily like, by extending our God-self to the other person’s God-self. As humans we are naturally imperfect and fall short of finding God in everyone. But if we ask for God to help us, He will show us how to pray for those we don’t like and in doing so we are sending them love.

  26. Roderic Brawn on March 23, 2015 at 05:15

    A challenge I have is to love one of my two brothers. In fact it is a challenge to love several of my six siblings. The have standards for me that I am not willing to accept. There are topics from me that each of these siblings will not accept any comments from me. The challenge is to stay in salutary contact with them. When we love our relating makes what we do with each other to help each one grow healthily.

  27. Karen on March 23, 2015 at 02:40

    That’s really hard! I find it helps to try to look at things from the other person’s perspective.

  28. Dee Dee on March 23, 2015 at 00:05

    One thing that helps me is to look around at my fellow worshippers during the Eucharistic prayer, as we are all kneeling together. Somehow seeing everyone of us in the same position of reverence and humility reminds me that we are all equal in God’s eyes, and God loves us all equally. This exercise helps me to respect other people, and allows me to create a loving attitude toward those whom I find to be most difficult for me to “like.”

  29. Karen Fast on March 22, 2015 at 23:52

    I t has been almost 35 years since my parish priest at the time said to me, “Let God love your ex-husband through you.” Since we had had two children together and our separation was not amicable, those were difficult words for me. In time, though, I came to appreciate their wisdom. Thinking of God as the source of all love, and that we are all children of God, freed me from trying to do what I could not do, would not do, alone.

  30. Sandra Klingeman on March 22, 2015 at 23:52

    Last year I read The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die. The third secret is to Become Love.The author,John Izzo, states that love is not a feeling but instead is a choice. He goes on to say that we might not feel love but that we have the power to choose to become love at any moment. He suggests that we do so in all of our interactions. This idea had a profound effect on my thinking, actions and feelings. It has helped me to better follow the commandment to love God, others and myself.

  31. Mark on March 22, 2015 at 23:31

    Well isn’t an easy task. Some people can be frankly unlovable so we can’t rely on our strength to fulfill this. I try to think positive and remember how some of my friends now I couldn’t stand when I first met them. On this of heaven we must make an effort to God’s love to others in order to get to the other side of heaven.

  32. Susan Zimmerman on March 22, 2015 at 22:20

    …keep your friends close and your enemies closer is a choice one makes and it is vigilance!

  33. Bonnie on March 22, 2015 at 21:27

    I remind myself that they are children of God, as am I and my family, and that I have been commanded to love them. Then I find aspects of those persons which are lovable.;
    Thank you!

    Love,
    Bonnie

  34. gwedhen nicholas on March 22, 2015 at 21:09

    Love is not feeling, it is action. .So if we dislike someone we can love them by how we treat them; by
    being kind to them and doing nice things for them. This will, ironically, turn our feelings for them from dislike, to love.

  35. Craig on March 22, 2015 at 21:04

    I probably don’t like them because they don’ t show the same values that I am trying to live. But then I have to remember that for them their experiences are different which would cause them to have different values from me. Therefore shouldn’t have to be the same as me. I can still hope that they are happy, are not being harmed and are being the best person that they can be. That’s how I can love them.

  36. Paul B. Ohannesian on March 22, 2015 at 20:59

    As with many other commentators, I do not find this easy. However, I love the concept of all people being children of God, and that makes us kin. Once I make that connection, the “otherness” of the person goes away for me, at least to some degree. Then, if I am in an encounter with the person, I can try to really listen to what they are saying to me and look at things from their point of view. I will bypass the strong word “love” for now — it carries too much contradictory baggage for my example. At least I might reach a position of respect and more openness to that person, and that may be reciprocated … or not. That’s up to the other person and to God.

  37. Verlinda on March 22, 2015 at 20:47

    It’s very hard for me to do…somehow I have gotten “like” to be almost synonymous with the word “love”, which of course is completey wrong.

    To love someone I don’t like is to listen to them, to try very hard not to prejudge or dismiss them, to see that they are a child of God, to forgive if they hurt me–in short, to treat them the way God treats me when I fall short.

    Concrete things that help me do that are praying by name for them and praying for myself to treat them with love and patience.

  38. margaret nunn on March 22, 2015 at 17:56

    Best way is to pray for them. This changes how you feel…

  39. Didi on March 22, 2015 at 16:48

    I have been reading “Where God Happens” by Rowan Williams. He examines the wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. One of the first things they recommend is “to think in your heart that you are a sinner” That way you will not have time to see the sins of others.

  40. Alison Vogel on March 22, 2015 at 16:47

    So many good and thoughtful answers here already! I resonate with the notion that the love we are called to is not the emotional state we often equate with love, but rather an act of will, a letting go of judgment, a willingness to embrace the unlikable in ourselves and others. Like others, I have noticed that praying for someone eventually brings about a change of heart in me. Praying for someone brings them into the same fold with me, linking our lives in sometimes hidden but always real ways.

  41. Diana on March 22, 2015 at 16:34

    Remembering that God loves us all…even the person I don’t like is my beginning. Then I pray for that person and often I find that, over time, I change and as I change I see the person in a different light and can begin to love them.

  42. Muriel Akam on March 22, 2015 at 16:29

    It is hard for me to love someone I do not like or show love to someone who has hurt me but I try to dwell on their good points and always find some good in everybody. Good actions are not always appreciated but one should not give up trying. But then , one cannot help loving some people who have faults but one forgives them because you like them and get on with them.

  43. Stephanie Mitchell on March 22, 2015 at 16:21

    By acknowledging that they have a purpose in this world too, and that they are fighting battles we know nothing about, just as we are fighting battles they know nothing about.

  44. Jane on March 22, 2015 at 14:20

    This has always been a tough one for me. But I can see different aspects of my efforts reflected in so many of the responses above. I’ve been focusing on praying for those I don’t like, both in my personal life and in the world situation (IS, etc.).
    When I pray, I ask for God’s healing for them in whatever way God knows is needed, not what I think is needed. This has come from my understanding that I really don’t know the whole situation/cause for the actions of others.
    I also have become aware, over the years, that when I don’t like someone, I’m most likely seeing in them what I don’t like in myself. So I pray that I can become more accepting of and understanding of both of us (because it’s easy for me to be hard on myself, as well)!!
    Demonstrating love has also been part of my progress. It can be as simple as making sure that every Sunday I bring “complete meals” (that are microwaveable) to church with me for our food donation basket. These donations go to our local men’s shelter and provide a hot meal to men on Sundays, when there are no food services that day.
    Loving people I don’t necessarily like is something I have to work at every day!

  45. Pati on March 22, 2015 at 13:46

    I recently tried this …. when I don’t like someone I remind myself that God loves them – the same as he loves me. It is something to strive for…

  46. Kathy B on March 22, 2015 at 12:27

    I”get” to do this every school year, as some children are more lovable than others, but I must love them all in order to give them what they need, and in order to maintain my own sanity. I know that the ones that are hardest to love are probably the ones who need love the most. I pray for them specifically, I intentionally care about them (to be honest, sometimes only out of duty), I attend to them, and I pray for grace when I interact with them. Ultimately, I learn to honestly respect the things that make them different from me, and I almost always find that I’ve come to love them.

  47. Louise on March 22, 2015 at 12:00

    Loving those I don’t like is no longer too difficult for me, finally after 76 years of living that is. I think there were plenty of people whom Jesus didn’t like, but we know He loved them all, even to His death on the cross. Maybe knowing that God loves the unlikeable parts of myself helps me to feel compassion for the unlikeable in others–to have mercy as I myself need mercy.

    • Randy Ruffin on March 22, 2015 at 21:05

      Amen!

  48. Rev Tom Calhoun on March 22, 2015 at 11:07

    When Jesus said to “shake the dust off your sandals and walk away,” he was expressing how we can show love, even when our efforts seem futile. This can be a difficult exercise; it takes a lifetime to learn this and we must always be vigilant, as it takes but a second to slip and fall. But this labor is a gift from God and we happily accept it…with love.

  49. jennifer on March 22, 2015 at 10:46

    I try to focus on the commonalities of those I find it hard love, to remember that we all have walked a different path and have our own pain and I remind myself that love and hate are similar emotions. I try to focus on how unloveable we all can be, yet God loves us through it.

  50. ros on March 22, 2015 at 10:25

    I think a useful way of defining love, in religion, is that it is not an emotion but an action. It is not what I feel but what I do for others (and remembering that I am also part of the temporal universe which must be cared for). But if we are also commanded to love, emotionally, those we don’t like, I think it is that we are commanded to manifest God’s love in the world. The question is what does this manifestation “look” like. As a reaction to many things I encountered I wrote the following prayer:

    Please deliver us
    from hate done in the name of Love
    from exclusion done in the name of Truth
    from abuse done in the name of Kindness
    and from injustice done in the name of The-Time-Is-Not-Yet-Right
    but Even More
    Please deliver me
    from causing hate done in the name of Love
    from causing exclusion done in the name of Truth
    from causing abuse done in the name of Kindness
    and from causing injustice done in the name of The-Time-Is-Not-Yet-Right
    (amen)

    As to help in bridging from hate (separation) to love (inclusion), I have my personal realization/belief that everyone is just getting by the best way they know how (not the best they can do, we can all certainly do better, but t best they know how at any moment).

    much gratitude for your time,
    ros

    • Randy Ruffin on March 22, 2015 at 21:01

      I agree very much that love – apart from romantic love – is not a feeling but a decision. It’s not how you feel, so much, as how you deal with the other. One older friend, who was an African American Dean at a college that had shifted from being all African American to mixed race, told me once about some one in the administration who was making life miserable for him. He quoted to me his thought that “it was not how you feel, but how you deal,” then said he felt that God had told him to treat the person as “his best friend.” He knew that the person was overwhelmed at one point and did the overall scheduling of classes for the person. Over time the relationship changed and he began to even like the person.

      I’ve certainly had the experience of having to consciously let go of my judging tendency and to both pray for another person and intentionally treat them in an appreciative and respectful manner.

  51. Michael on March 22, 2015 at 10:02

    I have no answer, but I have always found it curious that we are often kinder to stangers than to the people we love. I’m reminder that Gos never said what he was asking was simple or that we would necessarilty succeed, but he has called us to try and try again when we fail

  52. Karen on March 22, 2015 at 09:51

    i try to love those that frustrate me by knowing God loves them, that they are a precious and loved child of God.

  53. Christina on March 22, 2015 at 09:25

    I find this to be a hard commandment. ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ But I don’t always love myself. As an old person, I don’t always understand ‘love.’ My grandchildren in particular close a telephone conversation with, “Love ya.” What does that mean.
    Perhaps it means that the person who I really don’t like would still bring a response from me if they are in need. The reaction is immediate. I don’t have to sit and ponder whether I will be helpful. Is that me, or is it the grace of God?
    Perhaps someone out there has an answer. Christina

    • Kathy B on March 22, 2015 at 12:32

      Christina,
      I think its both – you AND the grace of God working in you, with your consent. Bless you.

  54. GREG MILLER on March 22, 2015 at 09:17

    Love, all people
    Do not kill them, steal from them, do have compassion for them, be kind to them and respect them. Loving them is about you not them.

  55. Cathy on March 22, 2015 at 09:10

    By remembering that we are all God’s children…to look for similarities between us not the differences.

  56. John on March 22, 2015 at 08:53

    Listening, which is a form and demonstration of respect, is loving people I don’t like. I catch myself more than I like failing to love in those situations.

  57. Tom on March 22, 2015 at 08:45

    Objectionable behaviors usually causes me to dislike someone. As I have grown older, I try very hard not to be quick to judge. Rather, I try to figure out the root cause of these disturbing behaviors,
    maybe it is a physical ailment, a broken or abusive family,financial matters. To better understand from where the individual is coming, it more easily opens the dorr for me to pray for them. The more I can do this, the more my love pours out to them.

    • Louise Howlett on March 22, 2015 at 18:23

      yes! this is helpful and since I have become a therapist this is easier for me to do, understanding better what causes people to hurt others out of their own pain….

  58. Lucia S. on March 22, 2015 at 08:40

    Brother John immediately took me back to my teenage years when my Mother, who I was very much like in many ways (good AND bad), would often say to me “I will always love you, but I do not like you at all right now!” Most of that was because I was behaving badly, probably REALLY badly. Some of it, I’m sure, also was her seeing herself in me (as Paul commented above). This reflection also reminds me of a recent conversation with my husband, when he reminded me that even beautiful tapestries look ugly on the back side – he was reminding me that when I see the ugly in someone, I need to remember that there is a beautiful side, as well. That beautiful side is the reflection of God’s love.

  59. Kenneth Knapp on March 22, 2015 at 08:31

    I think that by treating everyone with dignity and respect, and working to feed the hungry/clothe the naked/heal the sick, we are fulfilling the commandment to love one another regardless of whether or not we like the beneficiaries of our charity.

  60. Pat on March 22, 2015 at 08:30

    I might be able to love someone I dont like–with effort-by remembering God loves them..But that is very hard and I dont often succeed

  61. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 22, 2015 at 08:26

    You may not like someone but as Jesus said in his second commandment: Love your neighbor as you Love your self.

  62. Paul Antenore on March 22, 2015 at 07:54

    ? I have come to awareness over the past year that those who I not necessarily like, are most like me. They contain in them a piece of my character, or past that I have consciously come to recognize as having once been like, or am currently like, or am actively working on trying to “correct” by understanding it, naming it, claiming it, and praying for help with it. I have found that when I recognize my “flaws” in others, I can more easily understand, accept, like, and even love them. I have suffered from self-rejection, disappointment and even loathing at times and this awareness, acceptance, and love have allowed me to love myself for my own humanity understanding that God loves me for all that I am and all that I am not.

  63. Agatha Nolen on March 22, 2015 at 07:36

    This is most difficult to love someone you don’t like. Partly because our English terminology is insufficient to describe “love” and “like” as emotions rather than callings. It has made a difference when I start to pray for people I don’t “like”. I find that I can no longer judge them. It is easier to love people that you aren’t constantly judging.

    • Janet on March 22, 2015 at 10:45

      That is so true. Someone said the fault you see in others is often the same fault you have yourself.

    • Mimi on March 22, 2015 at 17:22

      I was going to post something very similar. There’s a person in my husband’s family who tries my patience. I have added her to my prayer list and pray for her regularly. I think it is making a difference in our relationship. I also came across a great quote in a book I’m reading that said “judging always seems to get in the way of love, don’t you find?” (Elizabeth Jane Howard). That was a new insight for me. I’m trying to judge less, which is hard for me since my career pretty much honed that skill for 40 years – assessing others.

  64. Linda H. on March 22, 2015 at 07:35

    I love people I don’t like by delighting in the differences among us. I don’t have to be friends with people I don’t like, but it’s important to me to respect them as one of Gods children. And I’m sure many feel the same way about me. It’s okay. It’s Gods world, not mine.

    • Kathy B on March 22, 2015 at 12:19

      What a wonderful way of approaching it! I hope I will be able to adopt it. Thanks!

  65. Elspeth on March 22, 2015 at 07:33

    This was a really good message for me this morning. I realized loving pets turns my fears about loneliness and isolation into an action of of what God wants me to do. Not to be focused on myself, and to focus and love others. Thank you for such a good message

  66. John David Spangler on March 22, 2015 at 07:29

    When we pray for victims of violence, such as Michael and the victims of ISIS and Bokoharam, should we not also pray for Darren and all perpetrators? We should, I believe, but how? Perphaps with one of these prayers: “We commend all who are dear to us to Thy loving goodness, knowing that Thou are doing better things that we can desire or pray for.”; “that they turn from their wickedness and be saved”; or by the pray for all sorts and conditions of men [humankind].

  67. Christopher Epting on March 22, 2015 at 07:14

    Yes. I think that looking for the “Christ” in the other person (and it must be there somewhere, since we are all made in the image of God!) and starting to love at least that in the other person may lead on to understanding and even loving the whole person.

    • Nancy F. Neighbors on March 22, 2015 at 19:48

      I think loving without actually needing to “like” people is a thread woven through my living. It looks a lot like (mostly) cheerful respect. It takes tons of patience at times!
      And sometimes it’s a pleasure. You never know how your other person feels about that, & that’s OK.

  68. Tom on March 22, 2015 at 07:10

    Thank you Br. John! This reflects what I have counseled over and over, especially with people who are struggling to exist together civilly: you do not have to like each other, but you are commanded to love each other. This means to live in a covenant relationship, caring for each other as much as (or perhaps even more) than you care for yourself. And you do this by realizing that the love to which we are called is not a feeling, a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but rather love is an attitude that we should through actions, something that we demonstrate toward others and ourself. Love is what do, not what we feel.

    • Mimi on March 22, 2015 at 17:19

      This comment helped me. Thank you.

    • Susan Dredge on March 25, 2015 at 13:08

      I am lucky not to have come across many who I have disliked that I have had to come in regular contact with but it can be difficult. Thank you for your comments. I would like to think that my love is in my actions to others rather than the feelings and thoughts that I have. It is a better feeling to like/love than to dislike/hate. I find myself distancing from a person who I do not take to, but now perhaps I have to get closer to that person.

  69. Carole on March 22, 2015 at 07:06

    Wow, how to love someone you don’t like, that is a real BIG question and one that kind of goes against our natural way of thinking. We are told to turn the other cheek, but does that mean we love that other person? While pondering this very large and not often thought of concept, at least for me, I finally came up with a possible answer. When we don’t like someone, we a apt to point out the faults and flaws, maybe the first step toward loving them is to stop this negative and mean practice. And then loving them for being God’s children will come with time. This is something I am going to try to practice and I know it will take time because I have to change a practice that is ingrained in my habits.

  70. JGlow on March 22, 2015 at 06:52

    We had the pleasure of hearing both the Bishop of Rwanda and the Bishop of Baghdad at our church. Both men challenged us in different ways. The first to forgive and the second to love. Jesus called us to love our enemies. Canon White said an enemy is a friend whose story we have not heard. I hope that I can respect my brothers enough to listen.
    With great good humor, Canon White challenged us to buy really good chocolate and give it to a person at work we did not like. Love hopes all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

  71. Karen on March 22, 2015 at 06:17

    For me, remembering that we are all made in the image of God, that we are all God’s children is sometimes the best I can do to show love. Once I think about this person being as loved by God as I am, then maybe I can even pray for them. Funny to think that this person I don’t like very much may be thinking similarly about me.

    • Louise Howlett on March 22, 2015 at 18:20

      yes, this resonates with me- especially realizing they might not like me either! Then I want to try to please!

      • NA on March 24, 2015 at 11:27

        Yep — it is kind of an equalizing force to remember that the other party might not like me much either. It helps me realize that if I have personal preferences or things to get past, etc. the other side probably does, too.

  72. N on March 22, 2015 at 06:08

    This is one of the most difficult things for me as a Christian. Brother John is correct to remind us that it isn’t a ‘suggestion’ or an ethical ‘ideal’ but a commandment, one that I regularly fail to obey. I really don’t know how to answer here and I welcome the thoughts of those with whom I am making this Lenten pilgrimage.

    • Margo on March 28, 2015 at 11:11

      When I asked about this how can on be commanded to love, it is not a general Paton style command but more of a parent :”I tell you this is the right way to live.” Generative more than ethical.

  73. bob on March 22, 2015 at 05:25

    With difficulty!

    Not being annoyed, not focussing on the negative and not wishing for different may be a start. Then go from neutral to positive – but over time, I think.

    • Joanna. Cotter on March 26, 2015 at 14:47

      This resonates w/where I am: can I love my neighbor? I have tried to look at & listen, really listen to the person & hear the words spoken. Surprise! I might connect.

      • Betsy on March 28, 2015 at 17:39

        I agree… listening is key to connection, and not planning my reply!

    • Moylan Nettles on March 28, 2015 at 13:16

      I am not sure that we can love some people. I think God commands us to keep trying. I have read some of the other replys and think most of them are commendable and what we, as human, try.

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