Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God. (1 Peter 2:17)
We are called to love regardless of how others treat us. For many years, I struggled to understand how I could possibly love someone who was mean and disrespectful to me. More than anything I wanted to create boundaries and cease interactions with them. I wanted to find freedom from their negativity. And while I did set certain boundaries to protect my heart and spirit, I did not end the relationship. It was important for them to experience the love of Christ and that meant meeting them where they were and understanding their disrespect did not define my worth.
Peter encouraged Christians to live in freedom. He reminded them of the importance in keeping their eyes focused on Christ regardless of their circumstances. They must be respectful and loving towards their masters and other believers. They must continue to love, not because those around them deserved it, but rather because God commands it.
Real love means not allowing the harshness of others to dictate our responses. God loves us regardless of our actions. We cannot do anything to make him love us less. Thus, if we are to walk in his image, we must do the same. We cannot choose who we want to love and when we want to love them. We must love even when the love is undeserved and unappreciated.
Show love to someone despite their harsh words toward you.
Tara Klein is a Wesley Seminary [IN] graduate who enjoys relaxing with her family, serving others, and sharing God’s unconditional love with the lost and broken-hearted.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.