Loving Hard-to-Love People

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.  


  • 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?
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  • 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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