I was a young pastor, and I was sure everybody in the church was kind, gracious, and Christian. Everybody would treat everybody else with the love of God. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to learn that even in the church are people who don’t quite get there. Some people are really hard to love.
At the same time, I couldn’t avoid Jesus’ telling us to love God and neighbor (Matt. 22:34-40). Nor could I run from New Testaments commands that we love one another (1 Thess. 4:9, 1 Pet. 1:22, 1 John 3:23). I would be lying to say I never struggle now, but I’ve learned something about loving others. Here are ten reasons why we must love even unlovable church members.
1. God loves them. I take these words literally: “For God loved the world in this way. . . .” (John 3:16). He loves the arrogant church member, the person caught in sin, and the follower who denies Him. That’s the point: He who loves all of us with an amazing love expects us to love others similarly.