First let me preface what I mean by unlovely: people that are difficult to love, complaining, dictatorial, not nice, negative, loud, nosy, gossipy...you get the picture. We all know people like this. Maybe we are the unlovely ones. I know I have my moments!
In Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 12:4-5, he says, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." We all belong to one another. Wow, I never thought about you belonging to me, or me belonging to you. It's like two body parts, let's say my hands and my feet. My hands rarely meet up with my feet, only to put my shoes on or scrub them or massage them. In essence, my hands serve my feet. My feet appreciate and love my hands. So too do I love and appreciate you as a fellow member of the body of Christ.
My feet on the other hand serve the whole body, by getting me where I need to go. They make contact with the "world" every time I stand up. They take such a beating by the "world" and are not very lovely. So too are some of us in the body of Christ. Some, take such a beating and are not very lovely, but serve the body day in and day out. Does our physical body despise our feet just because they take a beating and are not nice to look at or smell not so nice sometimes? We appreciate our feet don't we? We love our feet, they are a part of us, a part of our body.
The unlovely or unloveable are a part of the body of Christ, thus, they are a part of us! The unlovely are a part of us, they belong to us and we belong to them. So we should be devoted to one another in brotherly love and honor one another above ourselves. Rom. 12:10 Love our neighbors as a part of ourselves. Matt. 22:39 We CHOOSE to do this in obedience to God's love for us and in us. When we love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, we are in communion with Him through Christ. ...."in Christ, we who are many form one body..." In Christ, we can love the unlovely.
Next time we will discuss ways to not be offended by our neighbor so that we can stay in communion with Christ.
Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for such a rich sharing of faith and inspiration through their "Straight From The Heart: Love from the Letters of John" Bible study.