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Apologetics 101: Loving, Not Liking!

Our faith teaches us to love all people. But how do we love a person we don’t like? The central message of our faith is love. We are to love God above all else and all people. This is not a suggestion, this is a command.

It’s easy to love people we get along with, people who make us feel good. It’s much harder to love difficult people, especially those folks we would rather not be around.

Jesus commands us to love people, not to like them! We don’t have to like people. Liking people has to do with personalities which happen to agree with each other. Liking people is an emotion, a feeling. Loving people is an act of the will, a choice, a decision. Love is an intellectual decision to choose the other person’s greater good.

Love is not an emotion. Sometimes love has pleasant emotional feelings associated with it, like delight, pleasure, romance or safety. But not always. Jesus tells us to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). How did he love us? To the point of self-sacrifice, complete self-gift. He chose our good over his own.

Does a soldier jumping on a grenade to save his friends feel pleasant emotions? Not at all. But this is obviously love – a decision to choose the greater good of others over one’s own good.

It is hard to choose the good of others when you don’t like them. But when we separate love from emotions we see that’s it easier because we are free of the burden of trying to manufacture pleasant emotions. Jesus never commanded us to like anyone, only to love them!

Check out this week's video for practical tips:

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