“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
This command that Paul gives us is a lot easier said than done. Think about how Christ loved us. We did not trust Him, we mocked Him, we wanted Him to be crucified, and we were and remain a sinful people who have the tendency to turn away from God. Even some of Christ’s disciples were not faithful to Him. They denied Him or betrayed Him.
Despite all this Christ died for us because He loved us. Repeat that again to yourself. Christ died out of love for people that did not love Him.
It’s pretty easy to love people who love you. You already know they accept you and like you so it’s easy to love them in return. But think about loving someone who you don’t like and who doesn’t like you. This is a lot harder to do. When someone is mean or rude to us, we immediately get defensive and want to either pay that person back, giving them a “taste of their own medicine” as the phrase goes; or we resort to ignoring them.
But did Jesus do either of these things with us? No. Jesus showed more love and compassion to the sinners and the sick people, the outcasts of the culture, than He did to the righteous. We are called to love all people, not just the ones we like or the ones who love us in return.
Reaching out to a person in love can be awkward, embarrassing, vulnerable and just really hard, but this is how we are supposed to imitate Jesus. Think about someone you know who you tend to be rude to or not like for some reason. Now think of a way you can show them love. It can be something small, but think of how Jesus loves you fully and try to extend that love to other people.