“Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique. That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is not possible. You love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you.” ― William P. Young, The Shack
Do you have friends that seem great at tearing you down but never seem to build you up? Even worse, are you such a friend? I will admit there are a couple of people in my life that I am convinced accept me solely because of my corporate success or other temporal aspects of being. I sometimes get the sense that if I were homeless, had children out of wedlock, were exceptionally unattractive based on their criteria, or otherwise against their standards for who to love and appreciate, I would be a side thought. So, I spent the weekend thinking about who I love and who deserves to be loved. The answer is: EVERYONE AND NOONE. If we used the standard of truly deserving to be loved, perfectly living God-fearing saints, there would be ZERO people that should be loved. However, if we assume that everyone is flawed, don’t we all at least equally deserve love?
So, who do you love? Here is my list.
Passionate, judgmental, introverted
complicated, idealistic, dissatisfied, anxious
Brunette, nosy, knowledgeable
insecure, doubtful, tall
Obese, plain, scruffy
inflexible, straight, Chinese
Stupid, bitchy, liberal
cynical, gay, married
Hairy, suave, healthy
Irritating, nice, sweet, helpful
anal, diplomatic, sentimental
dependable, long hair
Meat and potatoes only
Australian, British, Kiwi
impatient, stubborn, critical
reciprocating, meticulous, short hair
admiring, silly, faithful, caring
I’m sure I’ve missed some traits or groups but I think you get the picture. Imagine if everyone person to whom you showed love resulted in another person loving you? The person you dismiss because of their speaking style, their clothing, their job or lack thereof, their race or religion …. May just be the person that changes your life one day. And perhaps, by showing love to that one stranger, you just might change theirs.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (TNIV)
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Mitch Albom
“Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” Erich Fromm
Love BIG. Lead on.
Adam L. Stanley