Love one another. It seems easy enough, doesn't it? But what about those people in our lives who make that commandment from God just a little bit difficult? How do we love those who have hurt us? What about those who don't appear to love us in return? How do we love that one person who has made it clear that they want nothing to do with the love we have to offer?
God does not say to give love only to those who give it to us. He does not tell us to love our friends and let our enemies go. He does not even tell us that this commandment will be easy. He only tells us to do it. To love.
Love comes in many forms. In some relationships, it's a giddy love deepened over time. Mothers often have a very protective love for their children. Some relationships speak love through mutual respect and admiration. But sometimes love comes in ways unfamiliar. Sometimes it is speaking the truth through love, knowing the message may not be well-received. Sometimes it is letting go of an ideal relationship but never giving up on praying for that person or being kind in all dealings. Sometimes loving means giving everything to God, allowing Him, through us, to will the best for that person who cannot accept love in any other way.
A new year brings with it opportunities for beginning again. As we think of our goals for the coming year, maybe we should focus a bit more on love. How can we be more open to receiving the love of others? In turn, how can we commit to loving others more, in whatever form we can?
God is love. His love is offered unconditionally, regardless of how many times we fail Him. He asks that we love one another as He loves us, meaning unconditionally. It is impossible to do alone. Yet, He abides in us . . . and His love will lead us to loving others as He loves us . . . even if it takes us asking for His help every second of every day.
As part of our New Year's resolutions, let us pray for the desire, the courage and the wisdom to be more aware of how we can love and be loved.
Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of four young kids. She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.