Who’s the player you wish wasn’t on your team? The coach you wish was in a different program? The parent you wish would go away?

That player is a problem. That coach is a jerk. That parent is a handful.

And they will continue to be that way, right? And as of yet, you’ve found no way to get rid of them. If that’s the case, maybe there’s something else to learn.

Proverbs 21:10–“The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.”

God doesn’t mince his words. He states clearly that those who love him will and must also love their neighbors. Who’s my neighbor? That player. That coach. That parent. Check out the story Jesus told about a Good Samaritan if you need more encouragement.

We don’t get to pick our neighbors. God just includes everyone in it.

We don’t always like our neighbors. God doesn’t care.

We don’t always get anything in return. God doesn’t either.

Here’s the thing: to God, we are that player, that coach, that parent. We are the problem. We are the issue. Even so, the Book of Romans says, God loves us and came as Jesus to demonstrate that love through death for us.

God loves his neighbors—us—sins and all. We have found favor in his eyes by no merit of our own, but by his grace.

To that player, that coach, that parent, God calls us to the same. Grace, mercy, love, sacrifice—a soul that desires good.

Lord Jesus, I’ll be honest. There are some people around me I don’t like; I don’t want good things for them. Teach me to love them like you love me. Amen.