Many of us often get tripped up by the paradox of loving people yet at the same time being in conflict with them.
I heard a story in seminary about John as an old man, so old that he would have to be carried to and from worship by his faith community in his chair on their shoulders. So old that all he could say, over and over again, was, “Little children, love each other.” Clearly John understands that God and love go hand in hand. In fact, they are the same thing! But John also understands that love and like are not the same thing, and love and “agree with” are also not the same thing. If they were then Jesus’ sacrificial love on the cross for a humanity that mocked and reviled him would not mean what it does.
We can love people, as God loves them, and still not like them, or be in agreement with them. Anyone who has raised a teenager understands what it is to love someone and not agree with their choices. I am sure that God does not appreciate all of our choices, either.
Gracious God, make in us hearts in which your love can abide. Amen. — ML