By Steve Rogers
Our society seems to be populated by self-centered, rude, obnoxious people who turn up as soon as I get behind the wheel of my car. My aggravation can be applied equally to people who drive too slowly or too fast. Someone once observed, “The appropriate speed is the speed I’m driving.”
It’s easy to love those who are lovable. It’s another thing altogether to love those self-centered, rude, obnoxious people who cross our path daily. But aren’t you glad God doesn’t love only those who are deserving of love?
In John 3:16, we read, “God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” People usually concentrate on the second half of the verse, the part about belief and eternal life, and skip right past these incredible words: “God loved the world.”
The word translated “world” is the Greek word kosmon or cosmos. This is the exact word the Bible uses to describe something worldly or not spiritual. “Don’t you know that friendship with the world (cosmos) is hostility toward God?” (Jas. 4:4).
Our cosmos (world) is made up of people who are ungodly, self-centered, violent, greedy, and just plain unlovable — the people we would normally choose to avoid. John 3:16 tells us these are the people God loves. In fact, He loves them so much He sent His Son to die on their behalf.
We can’t escape this sobering conclusion: Every obnoxious, foul-mouthed, immoral, totally undeserving person we meet is a person God loves!
In our own flesh, we absolutely can’t love this person, but with Jesus working in us, we can love unlovable people. This week, make this your prayer: “Dear God, help me love people the way You love them.” Don’t be like the bumper sticker that reads, “God loves you and I’m trying.” Instead, every time you encounter someone who drives you nuts, remind yourself: “That’s somebody God loves.”
Next month, I’ll share my “Pray It Forward” campaign to help you do just that.
Steve Rogers is president and co-founder of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute in North Palm Beach, Fla. A well-known author, songwriter, and speaker, he co-wrote three books with his father. He and his wife, Cindi, have a daughter and a 3-year-old grandson.
This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Mature Living. Subscribe