Friday, May 4, 2012

I Probably Don't Like You.

"I don't like her, but I love her."

I've always wondered at the phrase. Is that even possible?

Initially, it mostly just seems like some sorry attempt to be good Christians by 'loving' everyone and not dealing with the fact that we might not actually love them at all. But, maybe not...

Bear with me as I do some processing of my own right now.

Perhaps, when this phrase is spoken, we're referring to a feeling of liking someone. An emotion. A desire to want to be near someone, to hang out with them, to be their friend. We don't have that with everyone. I think we'd be liars if we said we did. We don't even have that feeling all the time with the people that we think we do like...

So, can we still love someone without this feeling?

If my argument is that love is not based on emotion, but more on action and choice... it seems it could be true.

I don't have to like you to be kind to you.
I don't have to like you to be patient with you.
I don't have to like you to put your needs above mine.
I don't even have to like you hope for you.

What if were okay to not like people?
I've been struggling with not liking people lately... and I've been struggling with feeling like they don't like me in return. I've been battling with this a lot...battling through the guilt I feel for not liking them, and battling through feeling unworthy because I don't think they like me, either. It feels contrary to how it's supposed to be.

But, what if it's okay that it is this way?
What if, instead of trying to conjure up pleasant feelings toward others (which typically end up feeling forced and fake), we spent time simply serving them and being kind to them. What if we practiced living out of love instead of trying to feel like we are loving?

What if, instead of trying to 'fix' our heart, we took action where we can and let the Lord be the one to work on our hearts?

I don't know. I'm still processing.

I guess I think that regardless of if we like someone or not, our words and actions towards them must only reflect love. I also think that while we may not like someone, it's important for us to not want to sit in that place. It's important for us, while we might not feel like it, to not become people who are great at loving outwardly and have our hearts be disconnected from it all.

Only, instead of thinking we can accomplish this change within... there's a necessity of begging that the Lord would change us (remember Maggie??).

Despite whatever amiable feelings I may or may not have for you, I always want you to know I love you. Not because I like you and want to be your best friend...but because I think you matter. I think your soul matters.

So, depending on who you are... I may not like you.
But I want to love you.
I'm still figuring out what that means, though.

And may the Lord do a work in my heart, so that my actions and words would not be empty or forced. May I genuinely care about each of you, regardless of if you're my best friend or not.

So maybe it is okay if we don't actually like each other... as long as we never let it stop us from loving each other.

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  1. I've struggled with this mucho this school year. There is this guy who bullies me and others-I certainly don't like his actions but I sure do love my brother and try not to reciprocate the unkind word and actions he shows me but instead serve him, pray for him, be nice and be encouraging of him. It is a lot harder to love someone when you don't like them, this is usually because there is a reason to not truly like them. I've learned that not liking somebody is no excuse for me to be rude or ugly towards said person but should be a reason to love them even more. I love because God loves us even though He didn't have to. People think I'm crazy for being kind and considerate to the bully that I mentioned before but through prayer and some discussions with those wiser than I, I came to the conclusion that is is possible not to like someone's actions and still love on them because God surely doesn't like some of our actions but still loves us like crazy. It's not easy and without Gods help I would fail miserably at loving those who I don't particularly like. I fail often but I am constantly reminded of Gods love for me and how others need to experience HIS love and maybe I'm in the right spot to give um that love!

  2. Debbie, we can all a agree to disagree respecfully. But I'd like to know when this "dislike" goes too far? Lets take stalking and harassing people on facebook or other social media- participating in character assasination of another individual- do you find that is the way to express dislike for someone you don't know? Who really holds that much power that they can convince a group of people that it is the "right" thing to do? Is that what "your God" intended for a "good experience?"

    1. I said above the following:
      "I guess I think that regardless of if we like someone or not, our words and actions towards them must only reflect love."

      In this statement, I feel like I'm expressing that at NO point is it ever okay to express dislike for someone you DO know, let alone do NOT know. That despite how we feel toward someone, love must be what flows forth. In saying that, I believe I'm not saying anything contrary to what you question. That within me lies a desire to not only love all people, but to actually like them.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm misunderstanding your point.