We all can be hard to love sometimes. But people usually need to be loved the most in those moments when they “deserve” love the least. Hurting people in this world need our love, not our judgment. They need our support, not our condemnation. It was Mother Theresa who poignantly said, “It’s impossible to judge someone and love them at the same time.”
Here are a few principles to keep in mind when it comes to loving the “unlovable.” If you’ll apply these to your relationships, you can be part of changing someone’s life in a moment when they may need it most.
1. Invest in people at strategic ‘low points’
Every financial advisor will tell you that if you want to maximise your investment in a stock, you need to invest when the stock is low, not when it’s high. Sure, there’s risk in investing at “low points,” but the risk is just a part of life. When it comes to loving people this same principle holds.
If you want to maximise your positive impact on someone’s life, don’t invest in the relationship only when the other person is on top of the world (high points). Give them your best when their “stock” is low. Serve them when they have no way to repay you. Be willing to rush into their pain and tragedy when everyone else is rushing out. You’ll be part of changing their life while also building a lifelong bond in the relationship. That’s real love!
2. Expect nothing in return
This part is hard because we want everything we give to eventually be reciprocated, but that’s not always how love works. If you do good only to those who can repay you, that’s not called love; that’s called “networking.” Real love requires a willingness to serve someone even when they are in no position to repay you.
3. Don’t quit on them and don’t let them quit on themselves.
The Bible teaches that there is nothing we could ever do that could separate us from God’s love. God calls us to have that same limitless love for others. It’s a love that’s not based on our strength; it’s made possible only because of His strength. Once someone realises that you’re going to stick with them no matter what, it can transform their perspective, and ultimately, transform their life.
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