"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart". (v.22)
It then goes on to say that we can do so because we are born again in Christ and live according to the enduring word of God. You know. That helps.
It's the word "fervently" that catches me off guard a little. The definition of "fervent" is "having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc."
Do the people in my life feel loved like that? It's a pretty intense way to love. There are people I encounter who are wonderfully easy to love and then there are those who are a little more complicated. But nowhere could I find anything that said, "Love fervently those who are easy to love. Put up with those who are complicated."
It makes me think, then, that any difficulty that lies in loving others is an indication of the condition of our hearts. We can't blame others when they are hard to love. We can only do what we can--to reach out and love them fervently. Their response or reaction to that love is their own choice, just as the decision to love them is ours.
Just some random thoughts in the midst of a crazy-hectic week.
Have a lovely day.