There’s a reason why Alvin Toffler said, “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” How apt that description is for me if I think myself an expert at anything, be it taping words together, fixing a simple meal, or blogging on love.
Yes, love. It’s been four months since I started this motion. That above all things, love is the supreme. Transcending clairvoyance, surpassing race and age, bringing to harmony disparate groups. It’s the building block of salvation, forgiveness, and a relationship with our father.
Let’s be lovebirds…
However, in the closing hours of yesterday, I ruminated on an argument I presented earlier, and discovered, to my utmost dismay, that I went against that which should be a guide. In anger, I had wished justice unto a precise set of people for an anserine behavior and a further irritating defense of their acts.
Given, they were at fault. Their decision was not well-thought. Their response was ill-fated. Their accusation was simply idiotic. And I had taken offence. I could take offence. I was offended. They offended me. Nothing should be wrong with the choice I made, right?
And then, while thinking, the never-departing, gently-thundering nudging slipped a dose of objection. Love your enemies.
The difference between loving those that are loveable (friends and family) and showing love to those who should be despised is not about the recipient. It is ultimately about us. We can’t get to love our enemies – and I don’t mean the guy who holds at gunpoint, but those set of people who chose not to be content with who we are and what we’ve received – if we do not know these three things:
- The love we give is the love we receive: In a post weeks back, I referenced that we’ve received to give. That’s the cycle of love. We cannot love our enemies if we’ve not accepted the love of Jesus who loved us while we were yet sinners – and thus his enemies. It’s just as a daughter won’t love her brother if the parents are always bitching.
- We do not love for the gain of it: Often, we embark on certain acts in the hopes of getting back. It’s human nature. I won’t stay up for three hours working on a design if there’s nothing to gain – in the least, the skill. In our dealings with love though, we cannot be gain-oriented. The best acts of love are the ones engaged on without a motive. Just pure selfless unprecedented love.
- Loving our enemies doesn’t mean we justify them: Let sin be called nothing else but sin. Those who wrong us have committed wrongdoing. That we chose to love them doesn’t mean they are innocent, it only reinforces the guilt upon them. We aren’t saying they deserve it, but that we are willing to give it.
Why then does Jesus insist on loving our enemies? * In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. The hurt doesn’t evade us because we love. We don’t face less aftereffects of wrongdoings because we love. But we’d be acting as true sons of our Father. Nothing assures more than that.
Today, then, let’s choose to love an enemy – the schoolmates bent on torturing you, your long-nosed neighbor always spitting trouble, the colleagues at work planning a coup against you. And let us not make this mistake: Loving them for what we gain. It’s a vague line that can easily slip off our sights. But we won’t allow that, right? We would love because we are true sons of our Father.
Afterword: I read in a devotional weeks ago that choosing to love leaves us vulnerable. It’s true. You’d be subject to hurts. But it’s not about them. It’s about us, and our Father. Kindly leave comments if you hold a different view, and share experiences if there are too. Thank you for visiting.
* Matthew 5:44