For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
In today’s world, without much effort, we are all inclined either to loving people that have some sort of value to offer us whether directly or indirectly, or people we share something in common with. This is how the world loves. Both constitute conditional and surface-level ideas of love, that I believe simply stinks in God’s nostrils and is bad for human health. True love -I mean the type of love that moved God to send his only son to the world that he should give his life on the cross- is a love that knows no condition, barrier or prejudice. In a hurting world, this kind of love is increasingly hard to find. People fear it, people reject it and no one would like to give it. People want to protect their hearts by giving very little of themselves to anyone or anything. They want to avoid disappointments, hurts, slander and heartbreaks and no one wants to be vulnerable to anything or anyone. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, who will?
I’ve however come to learn that the above-mentioned are actually the results we reap when we love little and hold back so much. By reserving ourselves so much, we easily slip into the place of loneliness even when in the midst of a crowd. It is when love is limited to conditions that we are in fact more vulnerable than can ever be. It is then that people’s words easily get to us. It is then that we easily feel insulted, broken, unappreciated, unwanted, unloved and all the other terrible feelings that come with being vulnerable. I see love in its true form as a decision that translates into action. Love, true love, is a decision made by a person to serve, give and be spent on others whether or not he/she receives anything in return. Love has no strings attached. However, the irony lies in the fact that true love attracts true love and true love always compels its kind without much struggle.
If you stay in the place of always needing someone to show you love, so that you would only need to reciprocate the gesture, or of needing some sentimental undertone towards someone before you can serve, love or help them; then disappointments, heartbreak and tears will always plant their tents close to your heart. If you keep waiting for people to be perfect, neater, cuter, more patient, more understanding, wealthier, or even more friendly before you love them, then you’ll never get the chance to love anyone or give yourself for anything. If the almighty God had waited for the world to be worthy of His love before He sent Jesus? Where would we be? Which of us would have been saved? But He overlooked the faults, the dirt, the poverty, and stooped ever so low, just to give us His love.
Like Jesus, I believe we ought to overlook faults and flaws, overlook dangers and rejection, overlook the suffering and pain, overlook inconveniences and determine to be an extension of God’s hand of love towards ALL people, for no other reason but the fact that God loves them. Not because we want them to love us, not because we need their favour, not because they are kind and no, not because we share anything in common with them. It is then that we will live a life that is full and fulfilled. Love breaks barriers like no other force can.
The power of God’s love is so strong that Paul asks in the Bible, “What can separate us from the love of God?” (Romans 8:31-39). The force it wields is simply too powerful for anything to break through it. Not even we can break it. It is a determined force, an unbreakable bond, a long-lasting and eternal lifeline that simply cannot be broken. It is not merely a sentimental ideology limited to family and friends. Even when the devil tries to separate us from the bond of God’s love, even when he tries to make us forget that bond, reject it or just doubt it, he still always falls flat on his face. Why? Because God’s love for us is a determined decision that cannot be changed by any external force. We ought to love people the same way. We ought to be an extension of God’s love even to strangers, we ought to be large-hearted.