– Rick Warren
Devotional: 4 Ways to Grow Your Power to Love Unlovely People
It’s very easy to love people who love us back, or to love our friends and family. When we’re doing this, we’re basically loving a mirror because we know that our love would be reflected back to us. Let us now reveal real love as defined by the Bible. Real love is never self seeking. Real love never asks for anything in return. Real love is always outward flowing. If you want to learn how to grow your power to love and unlovely people, here are four ways:
Seek to Understand People Who Hate You
There will always be people who will fail to understand you and there will never be a shortage of people who will misinterpret you. Instead of returning hate for hate or returning drama for drama, seek to understand them first. Seek to put yourself in their place. Why is it that the signals that you sent to them always come off as something that brings out the worst in them? Maybe by seeking to understand them you can learn to send out different signals that will produce different responses.
Always Seek to Fully Comprehend the Other Side
Try to look at the world not from your own eyes, but from the eyes of people that don’t see eye to eye with you. Maybe by fully understanding how they process information, you would be able to change the messages that you send them so they can fully see what you mean. When we are too quick to dismiss other people as simply too ignorant to understand us, judging them and putting them down doesn’t help their comprehension.
Seek to Empathize Instead of Judging
When you judge people, you cut them off from all possibilities of ever truly understanding you because you have already dismissed them as the enemy and you’ve walled them off. That’s the power of judging. But by looking to empathize with people and feel what they’re feeling maybe you can open your heart to understanding them more fully. Maybe their operating out of fear, our of pride pride, or a misunderstanding. And when you empathize with them, you see the humanity in them and you see the image of God in them. You are now willing and able to go the extra mile to understand them. However, when you judge them you basically just say, ‘Well, you’re different from me and that’s that.’ That doesn’t act as a bridge to understanding. That doesn’t lead to anywhere positive.
Always Focus on What You Have in Common
If you’re stumped as to how to approach people that seem very hostile to you, always remember this: you have a lot more in common than what separates you. Seriously, God created us all equal and we all have the same hardware. The problem is the software that we choose. So, focus on what you have in common and work from there. You’d be surprised as to how you can grow your power to love unlovely people if you follow these tips.