There are some days that I just don’t like people.
If you’re an introvert, you might understand this. It’s nothing against any specific person—we just reach our limits with people. We have those days where everything that everyone says and does gets on our nerves.
Sometimes it is one specific person who drives us crazy. If we‘re completely honest, there are people in our lives that we simply dislike. Maybe it’s just me, but there are days when I’m at my limit with everybody.
Ever since I began college and discovered the true depth of my introvertedness (ha), I have had to learn the difference between liking people and loving people. Biblical love is unconditional—it is not based on feelings or whether or not I like a person at any given moment. Biblical love is serving people despite my feelings toward them.
My love language is definitely not physical touch. I would rather spend quality time with a person than give them a hug any day. But several of my close friends are “huggers.” Something that I have had to learn is that these friends feel the most loved by me when I give them a hug or a pat on the shoulder, even if it is uncomfortable for me. Because, ultimately, loving other people is not about me—it’s about other people. And I learn to feel loved by others through the way that they express love, even if it is not my preference.
Jesus and the Pharisees were not on the best of terms with one another. I’m sure these religious leaders were not Jesus’ favorite people. But He didn’t have to like them to love them. He constantly shared the truth in love, despite their consistent rejection, which eventually led to their plot to kill him. Not to mention His love for the criminal dying beside Him when He was hanging on the cross (Luke 23). I don’t even like it when people speak to me when I’m tired—I cannot even imagine the discomfort involved in being crucified. But Jesus had the audacity to forgive the man’s sins in the midst of His suffering. Christ showed nothing but love to people, even when it was inconvenient for Him. This is the kind of love that we are commanded to show one another: agape (self-sacrificial) love.
The world’s perspective on love centers around one thing: self. Love is based on what others can give to us or how good they can make us feel.
For Christians, though, love is not a subjective, when-I-feel-like it type of thing. Christians do not show love to people only when it is convenient for them or makes them feel good. Christians show love for people always, because that’s what Christ did.
This goes for introverts as well as extroverts.
This goes for the people you enjoy spending time with and the people who drain you.
This goes for the people you don’t really like (even on the days when literally everyone is on that list).
Love is not about us. It’s about reflecting Jesus. We must learn to love like Him if we want to grow to be more like Him.
I don’t always like people; but, since Jesus always loves me, I must always love others, even on the days when I don’t really like them.