Love is NOT an emotion. I heard this the other day and it really struck a chord. I was watching one of the daily stories in the Bible app (which are phenomenal) and the pastor said that love is not an emotion it is a commandment. We cannot wait for love to arrive in the form of a feeling. We are humans, therefor flawed, and it may never show up naturally. We must strive to love as the action that it is. God commands us to love others. In fact, it is one of two commandments that has no dispute. Love God, love others. The Bible does not get any simpler than that.
Lately, it feels like we are forgetting that love is often difficult. Love is not a choice. I don’t have to agree with you or like your decisions, but I do have to love you. And to love, under those circumstances, will be challenging. Knowing that my obligation is to love you no matter what you do or have done changes things.
As things become more polarized and more divisive I can only think of one thing to do, love God, love others. Politics muddy the waters. If I believe this then I have to vote this direction or support this policy, etc. Call me naïve, but we’ve crossed too many lines for that logic to play. My rock, my foundation has to be built on something that I know to be true. Love God, love others. I am commanded by my God to love other people regardless of their harmful nature. I do still believe that a vast majority of people are good or have good inside them. It is much harder for me to dislike you if I remember that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.
As despicable as racism and parts of our system/culture are, it still does let us off of the hook of loving those people. Whoever those people are for you, love them harder. They need it now more than ever. I realize it’s easy for me to use the “turn the other cheek” metaphor because it’s not my face, but I don’t think it is any less the right answer. I think now, more than ever, Christians have the opportunity to shine. We are the salt and the light. Act accordingly.