When God says I love you He is saying just that. Where did we come up with the I don’t like you part? Perhaps, we want to say I don’t like what you’ve said/done but I have to love you because God says so. Hmmmmm I really don’t think the intent of the command to love others has anything to do with a qualification (but I don’t like you).
There are 3 basic commands in the New Testament…Love God and love others! (Matthew 22:35-40) Go and Tell! (Matthew 28:19) Do any of those say BUT I don’t have to like you, your actions, your opinions, your stuff…?
When God says love me that’s exactly what it means. The first 5 commandments of the 10 are about loving God. He says I AM God! You can have no other gods in any form whether spiritual or physical. Honor My Name. Worship me on the Sabbath and rest from all else. How do those equal love? Think about this. When we are with those we love we focus totally on them (no other gods), we honor them (by not misusing His Name), we let nothing get in the way of our relationship with them (He is the I AM), we set aside time to be totally with them (setting aside the Sabbath). That is how we are to love God!
How we are to love others is commanded in the next 6. Honor your parents! Do not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, or want what belongs to someone else. This is where the ‘but I don’t like you’ comes into play. We get ourselves into a self-righteous attitude and say I don’t like you because you lie, steal, covet… We have to get over ourselves! Doesn’t God say I AM God and you’re not? Stop separating the two. I love you, period.
Love is wanting what is best for another. It is not wanting what is best when we say, but I don’t like you. When a person hears, I don’t like what you are doing, being, or saying, they immediately equate it to I don’t love you. Oh, dear friends, take these words out of your vocabulary! They are not God-like. If we truly want to become more like Him we cannot allow our human attitudes to have a part in how we love. Let nothing get in the way of simply loving!
Oh, Heavenly Father, let me simply show love. Keep me constantly aware of Your example. Let me show love in Jesus’ Precious and Holy name. Make it so!
Blessings to you and yours!
Edited and updated from the original published on 7/9/13