Love > Nice

Isn’t life on this planet all about trying to be decent to one another? I mean just be nice.

That sounds good, but can you be decent to everyone? Every day, every person, no holding back despite what kind of adversity your face. Can you be decent to her when she won’t apologize for what she said about you or your ideas? Can you be nice to him when he broke your trust and wants you to act like nothing happened at all?

If you are a disciple of Jesus what do you do with his command to “love your neighbor as you love yourself?” That makes things 100 times more difficult, because it is God’s command to be more than nice; we have to love. Not just love, but love like we love ourselves. I  read that to mean that we are to provide for others as we would ourselves.

If we love ourselves then we work to fulfill our wants and needs. Then if we are to love others in the same way we are to afford others the fresh start in life that we want, the forgiveness that we need, and the help just like the times that we need help. In all of it we must do it out of love and not simply due to our guilt or desire to do the right thing or even be decent.

Love is far greater than being nice. It is the path of a person who lives in radical opposition to cultures, traditions, and practices that devalue people. Love does not reside in specific corners of our neatly defined boxes in this or any society.

I will confess that love is messy, it is really hard, and often times does not make sense. It is the only way.

May God’s radical sacrificial love capture your heart and mind so that your life abides within God’s plan of love for this world.

 


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