No matter how unloving church members can be, I can’t avoid Jesus’ telling us to love God and neighbor (Matt. 22:34–40). Nor can I run from New Testaments commands that we love one another (1 Thess. 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:23). Here are 10 reasons why we must love even unlovable church members. […]
No matter how unloving church members can be, I can’t avoid Jesus’ telling us to love God and neighbor (Matt. 22:34–40). Nor can I run from New Testaments commands that we love one another (1 Thess. 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:23). Here are 10 reasons why we must love even unlovable church members.
1. God loves them. 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.
2. We show the power of the gospel by loving all people. Jesus said our love for one another would be one way to show the world his love (John 13:34–35). Being family means we must love even those who occasionally drive the family crazy.
3. We live in Christian obedience when we show love toward all. Christian love is an active love, a doing love—evidenced by how we act toward others. Christian love means we act as a Christian toward all people, even when our feelings aren’t there.
4. Some unlovable church members need Jesus. Among a church family are likely to be those who believe they’re Christian, but who never truly repented and believed. They need to see genuine Christian love so they might recognize their need for Christ.
5. Some unlovable church members are undiscipled believers acting like undiscipled people. Some church members are really still babies in Christ, despite their years in the church. They need someone to help them see how much they need to grow – but it needs to be someone who truly loves them.
6. Love motivates our praying for unlovable church members. Lasting transformation in anyone’s life occurs only under the power of God – and that means we must pray for even the church members we like the least. To not pray for them is unloving.
7. Loving unlovable church members is an act of faith. Jesus loved his disciples despite their arrogance and arguing, knowing what the Father would do through them. We must love unlovable church members with that same kind of trust and faith.
8. Unlovable people are often loners, and loners need help winning spiritual battles. We’ve never been intended to fight battles alone. Loving an unlovable church member is one way of helping him fight spiritual battles he’s likely losing on his own.
9. Only genuine love allows us to carry out church discipline when needed. When church discipline must happen, it must be motivated by, and carried out with, Christian love. Anything less becomes ungodly judgment.
10. We are all sometimes unlovable. We, too, will have those days when we need undeserved love. Perhaps others will model then the love we’ve first shown them.
This article originally appeared on ChuckLawless.com and is reposted here by permission.