Christians often ask how to deal with a person whom they do not like. Of course, they already know how God wants them to deal with that person. God wants them to show love to that person. But every feeling in their bodies seems to urge them to avoid that person. So it becomes hard to obey God and to overcome those wrong feelings.
In 1 Corinthians 8:11, we can see how Paul dealt with such feelings. He thought about people in a way that encouraged him to show love.
Firstly, he used words that emphasised the relationship between people. Here, the word is ‘brother’. Brothers and sisters have a duty to look after each other.
Paul used the word ‘brother’ here because he was writing about another Christians. All Christians are brothers and sisters of each other because God considers them his children. They all belong to God’s family.
However, Christians also have a duty to show love towards people who are not Christians. In Luke 10:27, Jesus chose the word ‘neighbour’ when he mentioned this duty. He then told a story to show that he even considered foreigners to be ‘neighbours’ (Luke 10:29-37).
Secondly, Paul urged Christians to remember Christ’s love for the person whom they may dislike. Christ died for that person, so that the person could have a right relationship with God. That is the greatest love that anyone could ever show (John 15:13). Because God loved so much, we should also show love.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.