I Can Love People Even When They Are Not Nice

By Ilyanla Vanzant
Excerpt from Until Today
Now Faith Inspirational Ministry, Inc.

It would be very nice if all people were nice, loving people. Unfortunately, they are not. It would be wonderful if, while you are on the path to spiritual enlightenment, every person you met would wish you well, or join you on the journey. Unfortunately, they will not.

There are many people who are in a great deal of pain, and on certain days these people will, consciously or unconsciously, inflict their pain on you.

People will speak ill of you for no good reason. People will return your good deeds with unkind, unloving words and deeds. People will lie to you, betray your confidence, selfishly hoard your property, and if they are really hurting, they may physically strike out at you.

The human tendency is to offer insult for insult, hurt for hurt, ill deed for ill deed. The spiritual imperative is to offer love for insult, love for hurt, love to everyone regardless of the ill they may offer you.

The human perspective is to harm those who have harmed you. The spiritual perspective is to recognize that the more unlovingly a person behaves, the greater is their need for love and healing.

If you should encounter angry words or unkind actions, take a deep breath, reach deep within yourself and greet the lack of love with love. Until today, people may have responded unkindness to your kindness. Nevertheless, remain devoted to greeting everything and everyone with the gentle kindness of love no matter what is said and done.

You will truly know love when you realize... you can love people even when you believe that they are not nice.

The Lord's Way of Loving

In the book of Luke (6:27-38), Jesus said the following words to His disciples to teach them ways of loving even when people are not nice:

1. Love your enemies,

2. Do good to those who hate you,

3. Bless those who curse you,

4. Pray for those who mistreat you.

5. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other.

6. From him who takes away your cloak, don't withhold your coat also. Give to everyone who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.

7. As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them.

8. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

9. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much.

10. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

11. Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.

12. Don't judge, and you won't be judged.

13. Don't condemn, and you won't be condemned.

14. Set free, and you will be set free.

15. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you; for with the same measure you measure, it will be measured back to you.

How very hard it is to be a true disciple of the Lord. But is it really hard? What really is it that makes it hard?

It is the spirit of rebellion within man that rebels against God and His ways. This defiance in the authority of God was imparted by the Old Serpent to man when the first woman succumbed to the ways of the devil. By the devil's attack on the woman (Eve) instead of the man (Adam), he infected the very seedbed of the humankind with the spiritual virus SOR (Spirit Of Rebellion) that could spawn all kinds of spiritual diseases (sin).

God always has the solution before a problem could even become a concept or a possiblity. His spiritual antivirus for SOR is HS (Holy Spirit). By sending Jesus to the world, God (re)introduced to the SOR-infected humanity the Truth (knowledge) of the Way of Life (Jesus is the embodiment of that Life) that is rooted in obedience to Him. Mankind lost this knowledge when the first humans chose (by the devil's deception) the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, instead of the Tree of Life (did you know that this tree also existed in the garden of Eden?). When Jesus accomplished His mission, effectively He administered God's spiritual antivirus (the Holy Spirit [HS]) to work against the devil's SOR. Now that mankind has regained the Truth of the Way of Life with God, there is now hope of being healed from the effects of SOR. By believing and obeying all that Jesus taught and demonstrated, man can regain back the Holy Spirit of God imparted to him by the Lord at the beginning of time.

So, what makes it hard for man to follow God's way? The deception that the power of the SOR (Spirit Of Rebellion) causes. On the other hand, what makes it possible for man to actually follow God's way? The Truth that the power of the HS (Holy Spirit) brings. The ways of the Rebellious Spirit is in constant opposition to the ways of the Holy spirit -- it is always defiant of the authority of God.

It is the God-given free will of man that these two spiritual powers are contending. It is up to man as to which of the two he will succumb to -- to Eternal Life (by yeilding to the Holy Spirit), or to Eternal Damnation (by yeilding to the Rebellious Spirit). Thus says the Lord; Behold, I set before you the Way of Life, and the Way of Death. (Jeremiah 21:8)

If you examine the fifteen points above you will notice that there is one thing common to them: Loving people at all times even when they are unlovable. Jesus himself demonstrated what He preached (all of those fifteen points and many more spiritual principle) by His deeds while on earth. Even the totality of the sinfulness of the fallen human spirit (the ultimate ugliness of the effects of the SOR spiritual virus that seeks to destroy all life spiritual or physical) was conquered by the holiness of the Spirit of Jesus on the cross.

The fifteenth point follows the principle of seed, time, and harvest. Whatever type of seed we sow (seed of goodness or seed of evil), in time it will grow and becomes a harvest -- either a harvest of multiplied goodness or a harvest of multiplied evil. We benefit from the increased blessings that return back to us because of the goodness we invested on others. On the other hand, we suffer from the multiplied curses that return back to us because of the evil things we caused on others.