ronniemcbrayer300 maroonKENTUCKY (5/24/14) — There are some people who, quite frankly, are impossible to love.

You can’t dig deep enough, can’t try hard enough, can’t believe enough, and can’t go far enough to make it happen. And I’m not talking about the likes of Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, either. If only a few such sinister creatures existed, then the world could sing together one great chorus of “Kum Ba Ya,” and move on to the Promised Land.

No, the unlovable are everywhere, and they are fairly normal people, not sinister monsters who challenge our capacity to love. Bosses, coworkers, in-laws; your rival on the field, in the boardroom, or in the marketplace; your ex-spouse. The guy who cut you off in traffic. The obnoxious mother at your kid’s Little League game. There are some real jerks in the world, and they aren’t too interested in becoming kinder, gentler, more loving people.

The irony in all of this lack of love is that your personal ability to love others has nothing to do with them. And it has nothing to do with you. See, you can’t make yourself love other people, and you can’t make them more loveable.

Real love, if it is love, comes from God. So, if the unlovable people we encounter are going to be objects of any level of affection, and I’m not talking about hot, fiery emotion but genuine, gracious concern, then love is something that God must do through us, to us, and for us, and for others. It’s not something we can produce on our own.

Instead, we must get to know God better; be more receptive to the Divine; become more trusting of who God is and what God can do, and less confident in our own limited abilities. The more this relationship deepens, the more of God’s love we experience; and the more of God’s love we experience, then the more loving we become.

So if we start with the source of love, rather than starting at a hoped for outcome and work backwards, we get what we really need, and we are empowered to become people who are patient, kind, and unselfish. We become the kind of people who, as the ancient Church Father Clement of Alexandria put it, “practice being God,” for “God is love” (as the Apostle John put it), and those who know God best love the deepest.

But doesn’t that seem counterintuitive to much of what we witness in the world of faith? Those who know God best love the deepest? This would appear not to be the case. To hear the tale told, those who know God best are those who are the most doctrinally entrenched, the most committed to their particular dogma, denominationalism, or neo-puritanism.

Those who claim to know God the best are often the most inflexible, stubborn, and most difficult with which to work. Those who are the most “spiritual” can simultaneously be the most ungracious and unloving. Yet, this is a horrible oxymoron, inconsistent with a genuine relationship with God.

I interact with people all the time who think the solution to Christianity’s contemporary troubles is “more.” We need “more doctrinal statements; more declarations of what we believe, more clarification of right and wrong, more lines to determine who is in and who is out.” I would agree that the answer is “more,” for sure. But it is more God, resulting in more love, and that will make the difference.

The objections to such conclusions I hear all the time as well: “If we only focus on love, we’ll wander into all manner of error and heresy,” some will say. Maybe. But we cannot ignore the fact that the greatest act of sacrilege has nothing to do with doctrine. The greatest act of sacrilege is the failure to love one another.

We might have all of our doctrinal “T’s” crossed and our authoritative “I’s” dotted, but if we aren’t allowing the love of God to flow through us to others, then we have a lot of practice still to do.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.
e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Summer Youth Art Camp: July Sessions Now Open

PADUCAH, Ky. (7/2/15) — Since our June sessions filled so quickly, we have opened two more sessions of Summer Youth Art… Read More

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released – July 2, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/2/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Thursday, July 2.… Read More
1 DOW 17,730.11
-27.80 (-0.16%)    
2 S&P 2,076.78
-0.64 (-0.03%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,009.21
0.00 (0.00%)    

Most Read This Week

July 02, 2015 14370

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 6527

Police: Stand Off Suspect in Critical Condition

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 5059

UPDATE: Victim of Home Invasion/Homicide Died of…

by SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 3844

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 28, 2015 3604

'Curb Service’ at Local Eatery Ends with DUI…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 45242

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 14370

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 02, 2015 14370

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 6527

Police: Stand Off Suspect in Critical Condition

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 01, 2015 2532

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 2, 2015

by Crime Stoppers
July 03, 2015 2440

KMA Reminds Motorist of New Kentucky Red Light Law

by David Holt
July 02, 2015 1555

North Middle School Welcomes New Principal

by Julie Wischer
July 02, 2015 1331

Hanson Approves Budget on Second Reading

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 1227

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
July 02, 2015 1132

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released –…

by SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 951

Planning Commission Approves Re-zoning…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 864

UPDATE - Suspicious Package under Investigation

by SurfKY News