Some people are really hard to love. I've been thinking a lot about how we as Christians are supposed to love our enemies, and this is really challenging in some ways. Namely, it's really hard to love people you just don't like. And the people you don't like are the people that you know. It seems to be a lot easier to love people you don't know.
I forgive Osama Bin Laden. I hated hearing Christians, God-fearing, God-loving people rejoicing and praising his death. That's terrible. God wants us all to be in Heaven with Him and he wept when Bin Laden was killed. He never learned to follow the truth, and that is extremely sad. He was a bad person who committed terrible crimes, but God was willing to give him a chance until the very end, and we should all be that way.
Why is it harder with the people who we see day in and day out? What if there were a law that said you had to name your children and pets after the people in this life you have the most bitterness towards, in an effort to teach you how to love them? What if you had to name your loved ones after the people who are the hardest to love? What names would you be surrounded with?
My friend Wendi has a little boy named Jake. I cringed when I first heard that's what they were naming their child. Then he was born, and he's so perfect and sweet and cuddly and I felt like that name no longer held any power, no longer had to remind me of a time I'd like to forget.
Put those names all over the place- remind yourself of the people who bother, hurt and hate you. Try to love someone who is hard to love. It feels impossible, until it isn't. Then it's just rewarding and weight-lifting.