“Love is patient, love is kind. …It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, not easily angered,..”
Love is these things even when that person is part of a different political party than you, even when this person is a different race. Even when that person is a different religion–including ones you don’t like or make you nervous. Love is these things when you’re afraid–even for good reason, when you disagree, when your opinions are being challenged. Love is these things when people bring up injustices that make you uncomfortable, or you’re not convinced exist. Love is these things when you’re offended or when you feel someone is irrationally offended. Love is these things ALWAYS.
There is not situation or person that renders Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself “not applicable.” In fact, he specifically clarified that your enemies are the ones you are to put extra effort into loving. He said it. I’m not making it up. The fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in you is how you’re moving forward into loving those hardest for you to love. So think about the ones you love deeply, maybe your parents or siblings or significant other. Think of how you want others to treat them, how you want them to treat you. And treat EVERYONE that way.
If that’s not your cup of tea, okay. But, if being a Christian aka being a disciple of Jesus is your cup of tea, it is crucial for you to reflect and consider that being snarky when you disagree with some, speaking hatefully to or about another one of his children, spreading lies (or things you haven’t done the research to have good confidence in that they’re true), making generalizations about groups of people, shutting people down without humbling yourself to truly listen…these are absolutely in no way, shape, or form acts of love. They are evil. They are the seeds that grow into violence, attacks, murders, wars.
I don’t say this because I’m perfect. I’m not. But I say this because it’s true and I can’t not. We are better than to sow these seeds of evil. You are better than that. You are worth so much more than that. You are made for something bigger than that. Please believe me.