- As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another
with all that has transpired in the last few weeks, i need to talk about love. we've heard these verses a hundred times and heard a dozen sermons about them. we memorized them in sunday school and saw them printed on greeting cards. but what i have seen come out of the Christian community in the past few months disturbs me. see, Jesus didn't qualify who we should love. so i suppose we have to assume He meant for us to love everyone. sounds easy enough? let's break that down a bit.
we should love people of every color....and the people who hate them.
we need to love gays....and the people who hate them, too.
we have to love the homeless guy as well as the corporate CEO.
we have to love the victims and the perpetrators.
we have to love the unborn baby and the abortion doctor.
those who agree with us, those who disagree, those who hate us.
love the person who is your rock and the person you most distrust, the terrorists, the liberal, the religious, the racist, the conservative, the one filled with hate, the one who will never appreciate your love. love them anyway.
because if Jesus is the example, we have to love them all. he loved the unclean and the prostitute and the adulterer and the very people who killed him. he actually died for those people. sometimes it's easier for us to love the victims than the sanctimonious. it's easier to love the sinner than the one who considers himself a saint. sometimes... we just can't bring ourselves to love anyone who doesn't agree with us.
We often confused loving someone with agreeing with them. As if showing love is giving permission. But friends, if you feel strongly about an issue, odds are people know that without you constantly telling them.
sometimes, it's easy to confuse a person with an issue. to let your stance get in the way of your humanity. to forget that there are real, feeling people behind every platform. that it's not just a "yea" or "nay" on a voting card, it's a person who deserves love.
we've heard all of our lives that they will know us by our love. i think the part left out is that they will judge us by our lack thereof. and rightfully so.
in the words Dr. King "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
we can preach, we can protest, we can update our statuses with facts and figures and statistics and arguments. but if we have no love for the people we speak of, we have nothing.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than this.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
so today, go out and BE love in the world. be kind. be gentle. Be loving. Even when it hurts.