I have a confession. I don’t like everyone. I know. It sounds terrible. But, the truth is that I have a very low tolerance for some personality types. Don’t get me wrong, I like most people. And, generally, I can get along with almost anyone. But there are those few…
Recently, I’ve had the occasion to be in close contact with one such soul. It’s not that this person has been overtly rude. Let’s just say he or she rubs me in the wrong way.
I began asking God to speak to my heart. To help me see this person the way He sees them. To help me see the good. To help me like this person. What did I get? This:
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14, NASB
How does one “put on love”? Well, I asked a lot of folks and I read the book of Colossians, several times, in different versions.
One theory I had was that maybe putting on love is like putting on glasses, similar to the glasses in the book “The Wizard of Oz.” While the movie had the Emerald City as an actual green city, in the book the wizard had green glasses issued to everyone. The Emerald City was only Emerald when viewed through the glasses. So maybe we’re supposed to simply view everything through God’s “love” glasses. While that had some aspects that sounds right, I kept feeling like that wasn’t quite right.
Some other versions of that verse say to “clothe yourselves with love.” Clothe yourself. Hmmm.
I’ve often heard that the clothing makes the man. Think about it. If you walk into a hospital and see a man or woman with a white coat and stethoscope, it’s probably safe to assume that he or she is a doctor. Businesses have their employees dress a particular way so as to distinguish their employees from everyone else. When dressed in uniform, employees are expected to behave as employees of that company, because they are representing in their uniform.
John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” NASB
If folks are going to know that we belong to Jesus by the love we show, then it makes sense that we are to clothe ourselves with love. Just as an employee in a service industry must be polite to customers because they’re representing a company, so too should we be loving others because we represent Jesus.
That takes me to the same place it always does…what is love anyway? 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” v. 4-7, NASB
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” NASB
So. There it is. My answer. Love. So often, we associate love with a feeling or an emotion, but I believe these scriptures make it clear that loving others has nothing to do with how we feel and everything to do with how we choose to act. And the act of love changes everything.
So how about you? Are you going to allow your emotions to rule or are you going to choose to love others for Jesus’ sake? I choose love.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.
BTW – I am happy to report that choosing to love that person has made all the difference. I think we’ll be great friends.