We’ve all heard that expression, ‘You have to love everyone, but you don’t have to like them.’  What exactly does that mean?  How is that possible?

I guess my question is, how can you love someone and not like them?  I am called to love my brother (sister).  For most of us, that means different things.  We all experience various types of love.  There’s the ‘I love you and want to spend every moment of my life with you’ love, and the ‘I love you because you’re cute, funny, make-me-feel-good-about-myself love,’ and the ‘I love you but I know we can’t be together love,’ etc. etc.  But is there really a ‘I love you but I really, really don’t like you’ love?  Think about it…..

I’m not saying that we have to love everyone, accept everyone and invite them into our ‘inner circles’.  There are some people who need to be kept at a distance, and should be.  And, I will admit, there are some people who I just don’t like, no matter how hard (or not hard), I have tried.  Can I really say that I love them, however?

I can say that I do not wish them ill, that I hope that they have a good life (far from mine), but is that ‘loving them?’  I must say that I’ve always struggled when people say that we must love everyone but that doesn’t mean that we have to like them.  It just seems a bit of a cop-out, a little too easy. 

Can I love you but not like you?  That remains somewhat of a mystery to me…..