Loving Hard-to-Love People

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Loving hard-to-love people requires God’s help. But we can do it!

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” ~Jimmy Dugan

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Loving Hard-to-Love People

In the baseball movie A League of Their Own, about a women’s professional team named the Rockford Peaches, team manager Jimmy Dugan delivers this powerful quote after his player Dottie says she’s quitting the team to go home. 

Jesus spoke similar words to his disciples when He said,

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7

“If you love only those who love you, what good is that?” Matthew 5:46-48

Dugan was talking about baseball, of course, and Jesus was talking about loving hard-to-love people. But they’re making the same point.

Are you having trouble loving the coach who won’t play you, the neighbor who disrespects you, the former best friend who has stabbed you in the back? Loving hard-to-love people is impossible without God’s help. And God totally knows that. Yet He says to do so, if we really want to say that we love Him. 

This is why God “has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love” (Romans 5:5). As we spend time with God, handing Him our hurts and anger and disappointment, He will give us peace, which helps us to love hard-to-love people. Love is His greatest commandment to us, right?

Our commitment to reflecting His love will, at times, be incredibly hard for us. Certainly way harder than any game of baseball! But let’s give it our all, refusing to quit, even when we occasionally strike out. Every day is another opportunity for us to love hard-to-love people, which God uses to further develop our Christ-like character.

It’s supposed to be hard. If it weren’t hard, everyone would do it.
The hard is what makes it great.

REFLECT: Who do you find really hard to be around? Who do you find it really hard to be nice to? Think of something you can do this week to reflect God’s love toward this person. It might be as small as acknowledging this person’s presence. It might be doing this person a favor. It might even be including this person in your next social event. 

PRAY: “Thank you, God, for your Holy Spirit, who makes it possible for me to love others when I take my focus off of myself and place it on You.”

It’s when we surrender our hurts and forgive that we realize just how awesome God’s love is for us.  


 NEXT STEPS:

  • Join us in our February Bridging the Gap posts as we explore the topic of love.
    Do we really know what “love” is, and how to show it?
  • Enjoy this daily devotion? Sign up today to start getting it in your inbox. 
  • Learn how to begin a personal relationship with God, so that you learn about His love for you (and that person you can’t stand). Start here.

Adapted from, Loving When It’s Hard, February 13,  One-Year Book of Josh McDowell’s Youth Devotions. © 1996, 2003, 2019 Josh McDowell Ministry. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission. 

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2 Responses to “Loving Hard-to-Love People”

  1. Carlene M. Thomas

    I’m very worried about my 26 yr. granddaughter who has learning difficulties, lives in Texas with her mother, step-dad, and siblings. She is scared to death to learn to drive, and her parents have made it known they are ‘fed up with her’. “Desiree” knows she’s different, and has expressed it. Holds down a job at grocery store, and parents angrilly take turns driving her to work (no public transportation available.) I’m so concerned “Desiree” will take her own life because she is so depressed at her own situation. She has no friends, no hobbies, no outside activvities, and works on Sunday so can’t go to church. The insurance she carries won’t cover counseling. I live across the country. Am I worrying for nothing, or should I be deeply concerned? I am a Believer, and trust Christ, and pray each day for her.

    Reply
    • Sheri Bell

      Desiree is a blessed gal to have a loving grandmother who prays for her daily. Keep it up, as God has clearly put it on your heart to do so. XOXO We add our prayers, as well. May Desiree feel your prayers and His love. He declares that Desiree is loved, wanted, seen, heard, and sung over. Speak His love and power into her life. Remind her that when we are at our weakest, He can be at His strongest. We can take our burdens to Him and watch Him move!

      Reply

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