Following are seven reasons you might be struggling to love Muslims. The seventh reason is probably the most important.
Reason 1: Maybe you’re afraid.
If fear is at all a factor, can I encourage you with God’s Word? “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Reason 2: Maybe you haven’t allowed God’s love to transform any fear you might have into love.
Do you want to overcome the fear just mentioned? The Apostle John writes: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
Reason 3: Maybe your tendency has been to reserve love for those who are like you.
Jesus said: “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46)
Reason 4: Maybe you tolerate unloving comments toward Muslims.
I once heard the following deeply offensive comment (not at all in jest): “I know how to solve the crisis in the Middle East…nuke the entire region.” This is one of the most unchristian comments I have ever encountered. Let me assure you that I spoke up when this comment was uttered. I felt I had to.
Reason 5: Maybe you have forgotten to rehearse how much God has forgiven you.
Do you remember what Jesus said about the sinful woman who anointed his feet with her tears? “Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that's why she loved much.” (Luke 7:47) It will be easier to love if you remember God’s lavish forgiveness of you.
Reason 6: Maybe you listen to news programs that vilify Muslims.
When your favorite radio program unleashes unfair vitriol against Muslims, let me make a simple suggestion: Turn your radio off.
Reason 7: Maybe you don’t personally know any Muslims.
Practically, this may be the most important consideration on the list. If you only personally knew one or two normal Muslims, the idea of loving Muslims in general wouldn’t be nearly so difficult. Sometimes we endeavor to “love” a general blob of people out there somewhere—an amorphous mass of a billion Muslims! But it is far easier to love Muslims in general if you already have a caring relationship with a real person whose name just happens to be Ahmed, Ayshe, or Abdullah. Muslims are like other people in the world; many are kind, hospitable, and caring, while others are not so nice. Let me repeat what I wrote so you don’t miss it: Muslims are like other people in the world; there are some who aren’t so nice, while many are warm and caring people. What is true about all of them, that is, about all of us, is that they/we desperately need Jesus to deliver us from sin and forgive us. The surest way for that to happen to a Muslim is if he or she becomes a friend with a Christian like you. Most Muslims in the world say they’ve never personally had a Christian friend. It’s no wonder that it has taken so long for the gospel to take root among most Muslim people groups! But the converse is also true; most Christians in the world have never had a Muslim friend. Perhaps it is time to change this, and to start loving Muslims in general by learning how to love our Muslim neighbor. Ask God to bring a Muslim man or woman into your life, and then watch as God grows your love for Muslims!