As I sit here writing today, I am reminded that this Thursday (first Thursday in May, by law) is our National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is “Love One Another.”
We should also make it a day for a refresher course in Biblical, God-like, Christ-inspired love. Our calling as Christians is not to love only the loving — or only the lovely, or only those of our tribe, or only our church friends, or only those in our political party, or only the rich and famous, or only the blessed.
The commandment to “Love one another” has no boundaries, no excuses, no man-made exceptions.
“If people sin against you and give you no cause to love them, that’s the cause! Love them! The person in your life who has given you no reason whatsoever to love them, that’s the one you have to love.”
— Jonathan Cahn, “YHVH: The I AM Mysteries”
Scripture (and therefore God) is pretty clear who is included on the list of those you are commanded to love:
- your enemies
- those who hate you
- those who persecute you
- those who curse you
- those who mistreat you
- those with whom you are angry
- those who abuse you
- those who steal from you
- those who are ungrateful
- those who do evil to you
- those who are wicked
- everyone (past, present, future), including…
those who are responsible for Your death, even as You hang on a cross.
As we go about the business of living our lives, if we encounter a conservative or a progressive — a White-supremacist or Black nationalist — a socialist or a capitalist — a fascist or communist — someone who voted as we did or someone who did not — in fact, anyone of any wordly ideology or religious affiliation — we are specifically commanded that everything we do to/for/with that person should be done with love.
I can hear the chorus of anguished replies even now. “But I simply cannot work up any love in my heart for Osama bin Laden or Adolf Hitler (or even Trump or Hillary)!” As it turns out, no one is asking you to do that.
“To Love” is an active verb — in both the grammatical and metaphorical senses. The good and Godly things we do for each other are the acts of love. And that’s what Scripture is talking about when it tells us to love one another. Don’t believe it? Look at what Scripture says about “doing” love:
- whatever you want others to do for you, do it for them
- do good to those that hate you
- pray for those who persecute you
- bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them
- if your enemy is hungry, feed him
- if your enemy is thirsty, give him drink
- do not repay evil for evil, but on the contrary, bless
- to him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also
- from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic
- give to everyone who begs from you
- and, as He hung on the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.“
Scripture tells us to “do.” By doing, the “feeling” will come. It’s called building Christ-like character.
Most of us read these commandments and are overwhelmed by how enormously impossible they seem. Let us, instead, be overwhelmed by their enormous potential for good and Godliness and reconciliation in a hate-filled world. Let’s overwhelm the world by Doing God’s Love!
to everyone we meet today?
When we pray as a Nation on Thursday,
may God bless us and help us always to
Love One Another!
Christ: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35)
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8)
“Your every action must be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
Christ: “Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.” (Luke 6:31)