But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?
When I’m around people who love me, my love for them could be a passive response.
Jesus teaches love is an active verb.
It’s complicated, but simple.
Suppose I’m loving someone because they’re loving me. Then what happens when:
- They stop loving me?
- I find out they really didn’t love me; I just thought they did?
Then my “love” turns negative. This could convert to hatred or depression that takes some form of medication to keep me from harming myself or someone else.
Godly Love is a decision, a positive energy force I consciously will toward others. I don’t have that energy in me. I have to draw it from heaven’s reserves. To soak in and meditate on God’s love for me gives me that energy.
I need to love and do good because it’s right, not because the person I’m loving deserves it. Love is the best contribution I can make to humanity.