but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Gosh, I hear this a lot in Christian circles that it’s un-Christlike to not “like” someone. Well that’s a bunch of hogwash.
All of us have different personalities, and it is unrealistic that you will “like” everyone, or be in relationship with them.
There are four Greek words for love, two used in the Bible specifically: phileo and agape.
Now, phileo is a deep friendship type of love. This would be those people you hang with, your besties, the people you actually like to be around and “click” with. The other type of love is agape.
Agape is a willful love, a purposeful love of the heart and the mind, that shows kindness in spite of whether or not you “like” someone. Hence, it’s a stronger love.
It was agape love that drove Jesus, not because He liked people or what they did, quite the contrary.
He liked a few close friends. He chose willfully to show kindness and mercy to even His enemies, those who profaned Him. It was agape love that kept Him on the cross so that His enemies could become sons and daughters.
We are told, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” (Eph 4:32) This is agape love, that you willfully show kindness, even when you don’t “like” someone; that you willfully forgive, even when you don’t feel like it.
This purposeful agape love, therefore, makes it possible to “love your enemies and do good to those who misuse you” even when you don’t “like” them. If you’re struggling with this today, draw on His strength and His power!
Father, give us Your love in order to truly love those who treat us badly and show kindness to those who despitefully use us, in Jesus’ mighty name. CK