(Matthew 5:44) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves. His last command to his disciples was to love one another. He also taught us that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. My conclusion then is that we should love everybody. How often should we love? Love always seems to be the answer.
I am grateful to the Apostle Paul for his definitive description of what love is, but knowing what love is doesn’t make following the teaching any easier. Now that I know I’m to love always, I ask myself, “Do I do this in all my encounters with others?” Not really is the true answer. As a teacher, I wonder what grade I might receive. Actually, I don’t want to know. I think I’m going to need to retake the class. I’ve come up short in application of the lesson.
Love is a lesson that requires daily and continuous application. There are many obstacles, moods, fears, emotions, prejudices, and cultural attitudes to name a few. Oh, and there is always my self-seeking nature. In order to love always, I’m going to need a lot of tutoring. Thanks be to Jesus that he sent the Holy Spirit to be constantly with me.
I’m reminded that the closer I am to Jesus, and the more I am able to receive the Father’s love, the easier it will be to give love to others. I have my work cut out for me. I not sure I have enough to get a decent grade for this lesson, but I’ll keep taking the class as long as I can. It’s worth every effort.