As I have been engaged in conversations with believers and unbelievers lately, I’m struck by the whole concept of “loving the unlovely.”  If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, if you are trusting by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, then you should know about loving the unlovely.  You may ask yourself, “Why should I know about loving the unlovely?”  The simple answer is because you, in your sin, are unlovely and yet God by His grace has loved you and brought you into the saving knowledge of His Son.  Loving the unlovely is all about grace and that is really difficult for us to grasp even when the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.  It goes against the way the world works and the way we naturally think.  We have to remember the world is fallen and the “natural” way was turned upside down by sin.  

 It is easy for us to love what is lovely, it is natural for us to love our own, as long as they stay loveable (lovely).  What happens when someone is unlovely or becomes unlovely?  We need to remember what the apostle writes in 1John 4:19,

“We love because he first loved us.”  The love that God loves with is a love that looks beyond loveliness; it is a love that chooses to love in spite of loveliness.  In our sin and fallenness, we were rebels against God and yet in that state God sent forth His Son to die for us to show His love for us.  Since God has loved us in this way we are freed then to love even the unlovely.  Jesus even commands us to love this way when he quotes from Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

 Then of course the question comes, “Who is my neighbor?”  The short answer is, anyone that is not you.  So we are commanded to love everyone else with the same care and respect that we would show ourselves.  How is that possible?  It is not possible.  You can’t love your neighbor as yourself.  This is where we run headlong into the wall of the law.  We can’t keep it on our own and that is a grace to us because it keeps us humble before the Lord.  The love God calls us to is a supernatural love that shows forth His presence in us.  Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the indwelling Holy Spirit and we are united to Christ.  Therefore we have God the Spirit working in and through us to love.  When that happens the kingdom of God is made manifest in our lives, as we love even the unlovely.
God loves you in spite of your un-loveliness.  God saved you in spite of your un-loveliness.  God lives in you to make you lovely.  God frees you from your natural (unlovely) self so that you can do what is supernatural (lovely).  Stop looking for and judging what is unlovely; those people are there you need not go looking for them.  Let them see Christ in you, let them experience love they don’t deserve and see if God will not do a miracle.  He may not change them and then again He may.  I can guarantee you one thing; He will change you to make you more like Jesus.  Praise the Lord!