How to Love Your Neighbors, Day 4

Difficult People

We’re finishing this Plan with perhaps the hardest aspect of loving our neighbor. Inevitably, we’ll encounter people who are just more difficult to love. People in this category might have different beliefs or viewpoints then we do, and we can often find ourselves frustrated when they don’t agree with us. 

We don’t have to stay in this frustrated place. In fact, we can take insight from this Bible Plan’s previous days and actually apply it here! Here are three ways to love difficult people:

Show compassion. We don’t always know the background or experiences of someone. We might make assumptions, but it’s often very short-sighted of us to think we can know why someone acts that way without really knowing them. So, let’s show compassion for people instead of jumping to conclusions that may just be untrue. 

Focus on similarities. There will always be someone we don’t agree with. In fact, there’s probably no one on the planet that we agree with fully. We could narrow in on what divides us, or we could simply choose to focus on where we’re united. 

Pray. This is the most valuable thing you can do, but it isn’t the only thing. Praying for people we don’t agree with will soften our hearts toward them. We’ll begin to truly want what’s best for them. But, we must also pray for ourselves—that we’ll exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as we interact with others. 

Some of the people we don’t agree with may be people we don’t know and will never meet, while others are in our families and friend group.  Regardless of how close we are to those we disagree with, we’re still called to love them as our neighbor. When we love one another as Jesus taught, we are showing the world that we are His disciples. 

As we wrap up this Plan, let’s focus less on who our neighbor is and more on being a neighbor who will love when the opportunity arises. You never know how your kind and loving act can brighten someone’s day. In fact, it might even change their life. 

Ask God to open your eyes to the needs around you. There are an abundance of them, and if we all play our part, then all neighbors everywhere will be loved.

To learn more about loving others, start the YouVersion Original Plan How to Love People You Disagree With.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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