Love One Another ... Do I Have To?

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.” John 15:12-17 (NAB)

Dear Sweet Jesus, why are some easier to love than others?  And do I have to love the ones who are clearly unlovable?

There are days when my heart fairly bursts with love for family and friends and then there are days when my patience has fled my body and I seethe with intolerance to those closest to me!

And then there are the co-workers, some of whom I could happily spend my day with and others where I have all I can do to keep my mouth shut and not ask them, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
No it isn’t nice, it isn’t Christian, I teeter on the brink of civility!  
One day at work, we were talking about a supervisor who is incredibly rude and has hit me many times with backhanded comments.  Usually, I don’t gossip about others at work, but a few of us were gathered around and I relayed to them that on this particular occasion, I let her have it!
They all stood and stared at me incredulous.  “You?,” one of them asked.  “You said that?”  Uh, yeah.  I suddenly felt prideful, righteous, vindicated and a tad guilty.
And then there are the customers.  If you work in customer service, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s an older woman who I have helped frequently.  She comes in with an attitude and starts to berate anyone who first approaches her.  I try to keep my voice even and I force myself to smile at her.  I swear, she would try the patience of Jesus Himself!
One day, as I was helping her, she started her usual rant.  I said nothing, just trying to ride the wave and get it over with.  Suddenly, she stopped her complaining and said, “Oh, honey!  I am so sorry!  I have no right to talk to you like that when you’re always so sweet to me!”
YESSSSSSSS!  The heavens broke open, the choirs of angels began to sing and my faith was uplifted to a new height!  My kindness toward her had finally broken her down and she has been nice to me ever since!
So I breathe a little easier and I give it my best shot to be kind and patient, while praying silently to myself, “Lord grant me patience and hurry!”

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