I Really Don’t Like That Person

Don't Like You

Photo credit: JMParrone (flickr)

There are probably a few people you don’t like. I don’t mean people who work in politics, but someone who is in your neighborhood, work place or even (gasp!) at church. There has probably been a face or two that have come to mind. Who are they? Get that face fixed in your head now.

Do you inwardly groan when you see that person’s name pop up on your caller ID, or when you see him walking toward you?

Do you try to avoid that person?

Do you ever seek that person out to ask, “How are you?” Or only when you have to upon occasion of passing?

Does your heart feel yucky at the mention of his name?

Would you say you “really don’t like him”? Or hate him? Or not that you “really don’t like him,” it’s that you just “don’t like” him? Does it even matter that you don’t like him, really don’t like him, or hate him? The question is, do you love him? If we’re going to play semantics then the word love in the following verses means “fond of.” So in reality, if you’re not fond of that person, then you are really in trouble.

He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no offense in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:9-11MKJV

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Everyone hating his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him. By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:14-16 MKJV

I am not the Judge. God is. Do you need to repent? Repentance simply means you are changing the direction you are going. Which way are you going to go with this? Do you need to change how you feel toward that person?

UPDATE: When I was studying the word love in the above verses, I forgot about the three types of love in the Greek, which all mean different things. The type of love in these verses is the same word given toward the brethren, as well as all men (including enemies in Matthew 5:44), and it does not mean having an affection for them. I originally mixed up two of the types.

Ultimately this post was not a study of the different types of love. My point for this post is that too often people say, “I love them, but I don’t like them,” as an excuse to abandon looking at the motive of their heart. I don’t believe that that’s God’s best for us.

4 thoughts on “I Really Don’t Like That Person

  1. When I read this post I thought about another scripture that re-emphasizes the same point…

    “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. -Mat 5:46-48

    God is all about loving Him, loving others, and forgiving those who may sin against us (or offend us) in on way or another. It is a great challenge. We should always deal with animosity, bitterness or hatred against someone else the moment the feelings surface. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Fond:
    –adjective, -er, -est.
    1. having a liking or affection for (usually fol. by of ): to be fond of animals.
    2. loving; affectionate: to give someone a fond look.
    3. excessively tender or overindulgent; doting: a fond parent.
    4. cherished with strong or unreasoning feeling: to nourish fond hopes of becoming president.
    5. Archaic . foolish or silly.
    6. Archaic . foolishly credulous or trusting.

    Source: dictionary.com

    Okay so, “fond of” hmmmm…. I’ll see your semantics and raise you one.

    Love as the Bible seems to use the word in this context does not refer to fondness, but rather the choices we make in how we treat others. I am not fond of a murderer, but I love him, in that he is a child of God, and sinner in need of redemption just as much as anyone else. I don’t know that anyone can make oneself fond of another human being by force of will, however we can choose to love that person.
    It seems to me that like=fond of, and the Bible does not tell us to LIKE our enemies- it tells us to LOVE them. Love then would be seeking their best, and choosing to be kind to them, not so much choosing to like them as they are. Jesus exemplified this when he referred to the religious leaders of his day as “whitewashed seplecures.” Obviously he did not LIKE them (or perhaps to be more precise, he did not like their actions, perceptions and heart condition), but he LOVED them enough to tell them the truth.
    But perhaps I’m just missing your point. 🙂

    • Um…..I don’t like you. Just kidding! 😉 Seriously, thank you for your thoughts. It caused me to really go back and search the Greek I was studying when I first wrote this post. I actually found the “fond of” in the part where it said to compare another definition of love. I had forgotten about the 3 types of love in the Greek, which all mean different things. During further study of these types of love, I learned some more things, and for that I am thankful. Please see the update at the bottom of the post.

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