Does anyone else struggle with "loving" people?

Obviously, I get the commandments and do my best to follow them. No problem there. And I agree that we should never harm others and if someone is in need of help we should help them. Fine. Let’s be charitable. Cool. I’m also quite empathetic in general. But aside from that, I really don’t like people. I don’t have a “love” for humanity at all. And I struggle with that fact, especially because Jesus instructs us to love one another as He loved us. Does anyone else have a similar issue? How do you manage it? Is it possible that we have misunderstood what Jesus meant by “love”? Could he have simply meant to do no harm to each other, rather than defining love as we define it today? Am I making any sense?

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You make sense to me. I struggle with this too. I think the main reason for me is I am quite introverted and really enjoy being alone, quiet, reading a book, tinkering with hobbies. It is very hard for me to be social. I don’t dislike people; it is just hard for me to feel “love” for them.
One way to look at the kind of love Jesus was talking about is to realize love is NOT a feeling. Jesus would have been a fool to command a feeling–no one can do so. Love is rather wishing and praying for the highest good for others–that they, too, will come to know, love and serve God in this life and enjoy him in heaven forever, just like we wish for ourselves. And if we can do some type of prayer or service for those we meet everyday to bring them closer to God, that is love.

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I struggle with this constantly but I’m coming to realize that I HAVE TO live “more of Him, less of me”. If I make this my life mission then it will take me in the right direction, toward Him.

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Good way to put it. I’m all for wishing others the best and praying for them, even people I’ve had fallouts with, I pray for them and wish them the best as well. I have no problem with that. I think my notion of what is meant by “love” is what’s tripping me up. I keep seeing it as a feeling, but you make a great point about it not being a feeling. Thanks!

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Yeah… I kinda tend to dislike people in general.

I’m working on it, but I really just don’t like most people I meet. They just tend to rub me the wrong way… not sure why.

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This topic is an “inclined plane” of sorts that we should talk with God about, a lot, conversationally.

We may not love people, but we can “want to want to” love people…and so that lower “rung” on the ladder of holiness becomes our prayer…we might practice saying the following conversational prayer: “Lord, Help me to want to want to love this son or daughter of Yours…I don’t right now…and You know this, but I want You to help me want to want to love them!”

That spirited sense of humor and childlike way with God is the start of “great growth” in us, that is, in the intimacy and friendship we can have with Our Lord. Our Lord GREATLY desires this sort of friendship and intimacy with us.

Later on we can say…I want to love this person…

and then later on we can say “Father, I want to want to like this person”.

And building up in this manner.

Eventually we can get to “seeking the Cross” in our relations with others.

“Lord, I want to be even closer to You…and if you put me in contact with really annoying people, that will give me a way to “share” a “part of me” (my annoyance) with You that I haven’t ever shared with You before.”

We should always be looking to “share new parts of us” with Our Lord…our impatience, our prideful self, our vanity…sharing it all with Our Lord, maybe “giving it” to Him to dress up and sanctify.

Look at it this way…no matter where you are now…it’s all growth with Our Lord.

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You are misunderstanding the word “love”.
We can love our fellow man without approving of every single thing (sin) that comes down the pike .
Love means to meet people where they are at, attempt to help them become holier, and pray for them.
Some, of course resent this, and will withdraw from you. That’s fine. You still pray for them, You don’t HAVE to be friends with everyone, you don’t even have to like everyone, but you must treat them with dignity, respect, and “brotherly” love.

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I think you might see it more as being kind to individual people on an individual level and not carrying grudges rather than having to be out there feeling love for humanity all the time.

Plenty of saints were hermits or introverts. Plenty of them struggled with just being loving to their fellow members of a religious order, as they had limited or no contact with the outside world. There were other saints who were lovers of humanity and spent all day caring for poor people or preaching to people or hearing confessions, but they no doubt had other struggles.

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I guarantee that for anyone who spends time on the Internet, this prayer will be answered immediately.

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I think Jesus meant “love” as a verb. We are called to serve others and be kind and just. We don’t have to enjoy their company or approve of their life choices.

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A priest I know told some men I was with that there are many secular myths that have been accepted.

“Let’s agree to disagree”.
“The customer is always right”
“Love means never having to say your’re sorry”, and
“We don’t have to like everyone, but we have to love everyone”.

On this last point he went into good detail.

He said “No, we pretty much need to learn to like everyone, even very annoying and arrogant people…we have to put our shoulder into these relationships, and attempt to understand how these people tick, why are they annoying, and what in me that makes them particularly annoying…”

He said this secular expression lowers the bar on love, makes love a more abstracted concept, a non-demanding concept. Love can stay at arm’s distance.

He had a marvelous point.

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When you look into the face of your fellow man (or woman) you must see the face of Christ. He died for you, as well as for them.

To love means to forgive. If you forgive, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you.

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9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,
or with the covetous,
or extortioners, or with idolaters;
for then must ye needs go out of the world.

11 But now I have written unto you
not to keep company,
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,
or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer,
or a drunkard, or an extortioner;
with such an one no not to eat.

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Which book of the Bible did that come from?

1st Corinthians chapter 5

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15 Therefore see that you walk carefully
[living life with honor, purpose, and courage;
shunning those who tolerate and enable evil],
not as the unwise, but as wise
[sensible, intelligent, discerning people], 1
6 [b]making the very most of your time [on earth,
recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity

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Thank You for that. If we would see each other with the eyes that Christ sees us it would be a MUCH better world.

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Romans 15
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; 2 let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. 3 For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles,
and sing to thy name”;

10 and again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;

11 and again,

“Praise the Lord, all Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;

12 and further Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse shall come,
he who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him shall the Gentiles hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit

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All mankind was made in His image :slight_smile:

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Yes.
Sometimes I want to be left alone. Sometimes I’m just so overwhelmed I can’t deal with anybody.
Sometimes people tick me off with what I see as their self centeredness.
Sometimes I like the “idea” of people rather than the people who I actually deal with.

But it’s also very probable the problem is me.
Definitely when I’m overbooked and overtired I wanna curl up in a ball under 20 pounds of blankets and shut out the world.
And it’s a lot easier to be spiritual when I don’t have to deal with other people’s or my own frailties .

But…love/charity is not feelings, it is actions. And when I have some alone time and can refresh myself I’m better able to deal with stuff.

I’m really not a meanie :slightly_smiling_face:

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