'I really only love God as much as the person I love the least.’ I heard this Dorothy Day quote recently and it has really stuck with me. As people we tend to focus on the things we are disappointed in or dislike about someone. That something, that thing, that ‘it’ defines that person in our minds. (Oh yes, you do know what I mean.) We think if they would just make better choices, or take a different tack, their lives would change and then we could continue to love them wholeheartedly. We can become frustrated, angry or feel so discouraged that we end up thinking that we should just give up. If only ... We get so hung up on their issues that we no longer see the person that God loves.
1 John 4:21 NLT
“And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.”
Yes, we are called to love one another even when the other person isn’t making the choices we believe that they should. That isn’t license to be co-dependent by any means, but it does mean we should not judge what we can’t possibly understand. It does mean that we can love them through the repercussions of their bad choices. It does mean that we can pray for God’s wisdom, inspiration and insight to be instrumental in their lives. It does mean that we can pray for wisdom, inspiration and insight for our own purpose in their lives. It does mean that we can pray for them to ask for God’s guidance and we can encourage them in every way possible to seek God first. It does mean that we are called to love one another through the valleys as well as up on the mountain tops. To truly love one another means we should each be praying for the ability to love like God loves; to see with His eyes, to feel with His heart, and speak with His hope ... because the least of these may just include us too.