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Are You A Genuine Loving Person?

On my own, I am not

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

“You have heard, ‘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.”

Matthew 5:43–45 NIV

My granddaughter lived with us for fifteen months while she finished her senior year in high school. The day she packed her bags to depart for college was sad for me, but I hid that sadness behind a smile and best wishes. Later she gave me a birthday card and added a personal note. Her touching words included, “You are such a genuinely loving person.”

Ugh! I wonder if that is true.

It’s easy to love my granddaughter, but not all people are like her. Wouldn’t a genuinely loving person love even the vilest sinner, annoying neighbor, or the town gossip? What about the person who causes friction in the church or someone who has hurt your family?

When we moved to our home, one by one, my neighbors came to welcome us and said, “We are so happy you moved in.” I thought it odd because they didn’t know me. Later they shared horror stories of the woman who lived in our house before we bought it. I recalled my former neighbors who were annoying and similar to their tales. Let me tell you; I’m not sure I loved them.

My life began with a loving foundation that modeled loving others, even those who came from cold, harsh, and indifferent foundations. Jesus tells us clearly that we are to love our enemies. Even those who are nasty and mean-spirited. Really, Jesus? That might be too difficult for me.

Tap into Jesus’ power and passion

Yet I have the power of Jesus’ love in me that enables me to love and implement the second part of the verse, “Pray for those who persecute you.” In the end, I cannot claim a natural genuine love but only the reflection of His love in me. I must be willing to tap into His passion, a passion well depicted in the song, “How Deep The Father’s Love for Us,” with lyrics by Stuart Townend.

Take time to look up all the words to this beautiful song. Unfortunately, I do hear my voice among the scoffers every time I say something hateful about one of God’s children. God forgives me and lets me know His death has paid my ransom. I have no bragging rites because of this fact; I have gained because of His loss.

So I thank my sweet granddaughter, for her kind words. She is easy to love. However, I cannot boast of anything. There will be times when she will see my sinful nature, and hopefully, she will remember this: If I love my enemy at all, it’s not by my power but by His.

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Jenny Calvert

Jenny Calvert

Jenny is published in The Secret Place, The Upper Room, Short and Sweet books, and Extinguishig the Spirit of Fear., and