I've written and thought about this before, but I continue to be amazed at the misuse of the word “love”. When most people use the word “love”, particularly in a romantic context, what they usually mean isn't actually love for the other person at all.
The Good Samaritan, as it's known, may be the most famous of Jesus' parables. Even people who don't claim any Christian faith often know it.
Valentine’s Day is a day that calls up all kinds of emotions if you’re single, most of them negative. No matter how much you convince yourself that it is simply a manufactured holiday which imposes a false sense of obligation on those who are coupled to spend money and drum up a sense of romance (which it is), it nevertheless manages to make you sharply aware of the fact that You Are Single and have no one to a) celebrate the day with or b) agree to not celebrate the day with. Either would be preferable to not having the option.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them....Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Out of all of Jesus’ difficult teachings, this is one of the most difficult. It sounds very wonderful and noble in theory, and even non-followers of Jesus admire it. But in practice, it is one of the most difficult to carry out because it goes so contrary to our human nature. It’s nice to read about it, not so nice to have to do it.
The timing of writing this has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. I guess it is, in a way, appropriate to the day, but not really. It’s appropriate to all the time.
I’ve been thinking about the nature of true love.