Over the years, I've heard people say things, such as: "That's a face only a mother could love." "They are so mean, no one could love them." Perhaps you've heard something similar, but the fact is, no one is unlovable.
The problem with our ability to love, or our refusal to give love, lies with the individual giving love. It is our pride, prejudice, and our predefined and preconceived mind sets, of what we think someone should look like, act like or present themselves as, that hinders our ability to give unconditional love.
I've learned over the years that people reject what they don't understand. If we don't understand an individual's life, ideas, beliefs, culture, background, etc., and it's different from ours, we reject it. What is even sadder is, we fail to take the time to try and understand someone who is different than we ourselves.
Take the person I mentioned above; "That's a face only a mother could love." Have you ever stopped to consider that the wrinkles, scars and the "wear & tear" could very well be because the individual was beaten, abused, cast aside and neglected? Possibly, it could be a result of years of hard work and a hard life.
How about the other individual mentioned above? "They are so mean, no one could love them." Have you ever stopped to consider that, maybe, they were kicked out of their home at a young age, had to fend for themselves, been mistreated all their lives, having never experiencing love, or a kind word from another? Maybe they've never experienced the kind touch on their shoulder from their mother, father, or another individual, encouraging them and reaffirming them. Maybe no one ever kissed them on the cheek and whispered the words; "I love you".
I think that the old adage: "Walk a mile in their shoes", really applies here. This implies that we cannot truly understand what an individual goes through, until we have experienced what they have experienced.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25 - 37), Jesus shows us that we are to serve and love one another without prejudice. In this parable, there are three people who come upon the man that was in need; a Priest, a Levite and a Samaritan.
The Priest was called to serve by offering sacrifice to God on behalf of others. Yet, when he approached this fellow brother, he goes out of his way not to serve his needs.
Let us consider the Levite. He was called to be a servant to the Priest, as they labored in the temple. Yet, upon approaching his fellow brother in his time of need, he passed him by.
Now, consider the Good Samaritan. He came upon the man, seen the need, and simply ministered to his needs. Understand that this was unheard of, because of the prejudice that had existed for years between the Jews and the Samaritans. Typically, they would go out of their way to avoid each other. The Samaritan didn't inquire to see if the man had money to pay him, his lineage, his background, etc., he just ministered to the need. In doing so, he put his own reputation on the line, risking ridicule from his fellow Samaritans, crossed racial and cultural boundaries, and allowed compassion to move him.
If I am unable to love an individual or minister to them, that's not a problem that lies with that individual, that is a problem that lies within my heart.
Love is the purest and most powerful motivator. It gives courage to the coward, wisdom to the fool.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.