As Christians, we are to walk in Jesus' footsteps, to strive to be more like the perfect example God sent to us.
"For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps" 1 Peter 2:21.
It seems like such an easy thing, to love. Most of the time we have no problem loving our family, our kids, perhaps loving a friend that we like to spend time with. But what about loving those we don't get along with. What about loving that co-worker who gives us a hard time, or the acquaintance who always tries to be better than you, or the one who doesn't share you opinion on any matter. Let's take it one step more. What about loving those people who steal, who have abortions or who live a way different from yours. All of a sudden it isn't so easy to love is it?
But Jesus did.
"But God showed his great love to us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" Romans 5:8.
Inviting a thief to dinner does not mean I will begin to steal. Hugging a prostitute does not mean I will begin to work the streets. Doing these things does not even mean I condone the behavior--which I don't. However, it does mean I put my judgment in God's hands and continue to love the person behind the sin as Jesus did.
"Do not judge other, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help yo get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." Matthew 7:1-5
"And we give sin more power when we name it, focus on it, and forget about Jesus' power to overcome it" (DeMuth p53, "Beautiful Battle.")
Jesus is the one who resisted all temptation from Satan. Jesus is the one who sacrificed himself, the perfect lamb to cover the sins of all humanity. Jesus is the one who went to the grave and rose again to strip all authority away from Satan and doom him to the fiery lakes. Jesus has the power to overcome sin. By focusing on the Savior the details Satan holds so dear falls away. The cycle of judging others is one of Satan's many tricks to come between us and the outstanding power and love of Jesus.
"For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, "God has put all things under his authority"...Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God's authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere." 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
"I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of your more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him." 2 Corinthians 2:5-8.
"A new command I give you! Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34.