You may have been reading along with our blogs and you are now at the point where you are thinking (if I may be so bold)…
…Okay…you have me somewhat convinced that this whole loving others thing may (I repeat may) be a good idea. But I’m not fully there, yet. What you got for me?
I’m not sure a whole lot. But, I will do my best. Here are four reasons why I think you should take what Jesus says seriously about loving others…
[But first, a disclaimer: I am not trying to trivialize a terrible, traumatic experience you may have had that has closed you off to love. Your walls are built because you had to protect yourself. Friend, I am so sorry. You never deserved (or present tense: deserve) that (this). In order to experience freedom and healing, you may need to talk to someone who can walk you through the devastation. But you may not be ready for that. Just know, you are worth loving. You are. I promise you that. These four reasons are not for those of you who are around dangerous people and are looking for a necessary escape. If you are not sure whether that is you or not, please speak to someone!]
Here we go!
- Common Sense. You and I both agreed in one of the very first blogs that those who are in meaningful relationships – where they are able to love and be loved – thrive and those who aren’t, well, don’t. So love is crucial for our overall sense of well-being and development. If we want it, why would we also not be willing to give it?
- The Golden Rule. Have you heard the Golden Rule before? I’m sure you have: “Do to others as you would have them do to you”? Believe it or not, The Golden Rule is from Scripture. Wild, I know. But listen. It’s simply good truth. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You will never find the love and fulfillment you are looking for if you are treating people like trash and living completely closed off to the world. Let’s take this one step further: You understand more than anyone that the other people living that way are DESPERATE for love. It was a deprivation of love that made you this way, amirite? So, see number 1. Common Sense.
- Freedom. If you have to interact regularly with someone who just, bless his/her whole heart, drives you INSANE or makes you INSANELY ANGRY, then just ask yourself this question: Are you being overcome by this person? If you are constantly giving into the frustration, the annoyance, the anger then you are being controlled. They are living for free in your head? Listen, overcome that Negative Nancy (or Nathan) with good! Begin finding tangible ways to repay the evil (see my disclaimer above for clarification) with love. Or just start here: Think happy thoughts for this person. Seriously. Happy thoughts.
- Jesus Said So. This is a simple one for those of us who are Jesus Followers. Jesus said so. If He can predict His own death and then actually come back to life, well, I’ll listen. Not only that, but He loved us in the midst of all of our dysfunction. Like the worst of the worse of it. He loves us now. So, who the heck am I to say I can’t love others?
And for those of you who aren’t Jesus Followers, bottom line is this: Jesus was a real person and a really good person. He has a lot of good points and wise thoughts. So I think it’s worth considering not throwing the baby out with the bathwater (I feel weird making that analogy here, but it works). I’m sure you have learned a lot from other dead guys. Why not from Jesus, too?
So there you have. Four very simple reasons why it’s worth taking the Jesus love thing seriously.