A classic Peanuts cartoon shows Lucy convincing Linus that he can’t be a doctor because he doesn’t love mankind. He clarifies by exclaiming, “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.”
We pray for world peace, cheer for our kids’ sports teams, strive for harmony in our families, and support our churches but then . . . condemn church leaders who don’t consider our opinions to be the best, get irritated at family members whose plans conflict with ours, blame the coaches who don’t play our kids as much as the others, and generally decide to be loving toward some people but unloving toward the ones whose viewpoints differ from ours.
Here’s something to remember today. Jesus loves everybody.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
Jesus loves the person who drives slowly in the left lane. Jesus loves the contractor who messed up your house. Jesus loves your dad who wasn’t there for you. Jesus loves your ex who blames you for everything. Jesus loves your friend who let you down. Jesus loves the hacker who stole your identity. Jesus died for them too.
The next time (it’ll happen soon, believe me) you have difficulty loving a person, just remember these words: “Jesus loves everybody. Even me.”