Two Kinds of Love
Love and hate are the two greatest motivators in the world. Hate is an avenger for a perceived wrong. Love needs no prior event to be activated. Love is giving, pure and simple. While the object of hate is to triumph over one's adversaries, the object of love is to enrich the life of another. The more we love the less we hate. Love is edifying, hate is destructive. The thrust of our lives should be to be edified rather than to be destroyed. This brings us to the two kinds of love. One is the love that we choose to bestow and the other is the love that we discover.
We are hard wired by our Creator to be capable of love, even the worst of us.
Luke 6:32-33 For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.
So, unless we are totally consumed by hate or fear, we will love somebody. On this level it is discovered love. We become aware that other people love us and in most cases we return that love. On a blessed day of our life we meet someone of the opposite sex and discover that they find us very interesting and show an attitude of respect and affection. We reciprocate, which only intensifies the reaction of the other. In a best case scenario this leads to a desire to give all that we have to enrich the other. We did not know that we would love this person to this extent but we discovered the secret that God embedded in our hearts: You are capable of giving all that you are, all that you have, all your desire, all your hopes, all your being. But you did not plan this; you did not look at some person and decide that you would do this. You discovered a mutual willingness to allow a more intimate relationship to develope. It is this very thing that God had in mind.
Gen 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
This may be a mystery but surely it is the most rewarding and fulfilling condition of human existence.
So, then we come to the other kind of love, the love that we choose to bestow in the absence of reciprocity. This is the love that Jesus Christ showed to his murderers. It is the love that God requires of us. It is through this love that we can augment the discovered love that we feel toward those who have loved us.
1 John 4:20-21 If anyone says, I love God, but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
I am not fully aware of all that God has accomplished in me but I suspect that I am now capable of loving way beyond the measure that He had originally hard wired in me. Because of my love for God I can endure all the negatives of this present age and love others even if they do not love in return; I can love them in spite of what they did or did not do. I can be the one who loves first, the one who makes the other decide to love me in return; I can be the catalyst. If and when life becomes challenging and we are forced to give up one thing or another, a way of life, a cherished possession, a hope, a dream - this is the last thing that I will cling to - the love of God in my heart for all of you. There are no prerequisites, no conditions, no quid pro quo. You do not have to do anything. I choose to love you.