Mark 12:30-31 – And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (NLT) The second most important commandment says: “Love others as much as you love yourself.” No other commandment is more important than these. (CEV)
We are created to love God and to love people.
We are made for relationship with God and with people.
We are commanded to love God and to love people.
The challenge for all of us is how do we get along with difficult people?
How to love difficult people:
1. LOVE GOD
Mark 12:30 (NLT) – And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
• Loving God is the key to loving people
• Apart from God, it’s impossible to love
• Order is significant and crucial here! (This doesn’t work in the reverse!)
• If you love the Lord with all that you are... then there isn’t room for ill will toward others...
• In our love for God flows our love for people...
2. CHOOSE TO HONOR
1 Peter 2:17 (NKJV) – Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Romans 12:10 – “Love each other as brothers and sisters” and honor others more than you do yourself. (CEV); “take delight in honoring one another” (NLT)
• Communicating through your words and actions that you value others above yourself.
• Jesus example: He loved people well... spoke to woman at the well... went to dine with Zacchaeus.
• Life changing encounters were made possible by Jesus loving/honoring people well.
3. LOVE BY FAITH
Luke 6:27-28 – But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Agape love is a love by choice and an act of the will.
We love by faith and feelings follow.
How do we love difficult people?
a. We pray for them – pray for those who hurt you b. We do good to them – do good to those who hate you c. We choose to speak well of them – bless those who curse you
1 John 4:19 (NKJV)– We love Him because He first loved us.
Key verse to memorize: Mark 12:30-31 – And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (NLT) The second most important commandment says: ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.” (CEV)
Questions for discussion/reflection:
1. Share your own “challenge to love” personal experience (anonymously!). 2. How is loving God connected to loving people? 3. How is “honor” different from “love” in your mind? 4. What are some specific ways God is leading you to honor some people in your
life this week? 5. Is your love motivated more by feelings or by faith? 6. Fill in each of these for one difficult to love individual in your life:
• Write a prayer for that person.
• Write down a specific kind act (out of the ordinary) you will do for that person.
• Write down a specific, true, positive/encouraging statement about that person.