The Call for Radical Love. Part 1.
Today is "Love Day". February 14th.
The day that you see endless posts about.
So many different opinions on this day.
I think today is a good day to reflect on what love is?
How do we limit ourselves in love or who to love?
Have we experienced the greatest kind of love?
What is the greatest kind of love?
I think its safe to say that the common answer to the question "Who do you love?", would be...
"My spouse, my family, and my friends."
Well, that is a good answer.
Let's think outside of this cliche, but true answer and take a broader look at the question: "Who else SHOULD we love?"
Here are the words of Jesus answering this question.
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." - Matthew 5: 43-48
I've always felt like this passage solidifies my faith as a follower of Jesus.
Why? - Because I feel its such an "un- human" thought. A thought that must be divine. Its not fair, not right, there is no justice in "loving your enemy".
When someone wrongs you, what's your first reaction? Usually to get even, get revenge, anything to attain justice.
Just looking at all the news these days, it makes me so sad that the human go-to is still:
- " Eye for an eye"
- " It's ok to bully a bully"
- " They deserve whats coming to them."
- " Karma will catch up with them."
It's easy to roll with these thoughts.
It's hard to love with the love Jesus calls us to.
Do we have enemies today? The world may say that our enemies are terrorists, or other generic clumpings of bad people.
An enemy can be viewed as the opposing, the dangerous, the threatening, the evil that we are up against in situations or life in general.
The word "Radical", seems to be viewed by the world now as a negative word. Man... I remember when it was the cool phrase to use. The Ninja Turtles used it all the time!
Jesus saying these words in Matthew 5 back then was definitely radical!
It is a world changing idea, that I believe is the only way to achieve personal/ spiritual peace. When looked at on a relational level, this base teaching of Jesus, enables us to forgive, show grace, show mercy, and show the world what living according to the teachings of Jesus can do for the betterment of our world, and our relationships.
Jesus calls those who listen to and follow Him to a higher calling of loving. As he says:
" If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? "
" If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? "
So in a world where it seems to have become trendy to be easily offended, lets push into learning more of the love Jesus wants us to show to each other. It will be the hardest thing to do, but it will help us all grow closer in relationship with each other, and with our Lord.
Will you forgive, show grace, strive to be a peacemaker?
P.S. Another post on this Feb 14th day, with a great perspective is from my friend Talia. Love outside the box. Here it is! Check it out!