When we think of love, with think of that soft and compassionate feeling, we have for family and friends, and others we care about.
But, what about loving those you don’t like. Those who aggravate you, who have wronged you. Or those you view as doing things that are harmful to others, or political and culture-war opponents.
What about loving them?
That takes work!
We get no reward for operating in a loving manner to those, we have no animus towards.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven.
Remember, God is trying to transform us, so we can have a healthy society. Healthy societies start with healthy people. I’m from Metro Detroit. Unfortunately, when I watch the nightly news someone is always getting murdered, or shot. Most times it’s a person they knew. Often times a person aggrieved a person, and they want to make them pay. Then two families are hurt, one or more are dead, and another is in prison,
All of this can prevented, if we walk in love towards those we have strong negative feelings towards.
This is even more relevant, in todays political climate. We see the level of self-righteous hatred the secular progressive movement, has towards conservatives, especially Christians. However, I’m starting to see the same level of disdain, beginning to dig its venomous claws, in the Conservative Christian community. One reason I can say this is, I’ve been there myself.
I even had such strong feeling towards secular progressives, that I’ve in my heart wished them harm and/or misfortune. That IS NOT what Jesus would want me to do. I love the Lord with all my heart, and want to see Christianity flourish world-wide, peacefully. Even those who wish to oppose those like my self either through words, votes, or violence, should always be treated with love. Because truth is transcendent. And love is to be applied to all, otherwise we will descend into a chaotic and violent society.
Now I am strong believer is self defense, the defending of your person and that of others against physical harm. That isn’t an unloving act, you’re simply protecting your life and body. And, speaking the truth is critical, but in love. This is more effective than trying to eliminate our enemy.
We don’t have to fight fire, with rage; or compromise Biblical truths, and/or other obvious truths. However we must not ever step out of love. Or, our mission moves away from bringing people to Christ, which is our ultimate objective. Even in the political arena.
If we want a society that follows Christ, it starts with our own behavior. Which starts with whether we walk in love, even when interacting with those, who are clearly doing Satan’s bidding.