Nah… Not that type of love. Not the kind that you have for a significant other and want to spend the rest of your life with.
I’m talking about special love.
No. Not the kind that loves the face that only a mother could love, because you may be the mother. Neither am I referring to the kind that loves a mother despite her flaws, because you may be her child.
I’m talking about SPECIAL love. There is a type of love that you have to develop for those that you have no intention, no desire, or no incentive to love. As a matter of fact, as a Christian, you are supposed to love even those who you may have reason to hate (Matthew 5:43-48). There is a perfect love of God that we should hold as Christians, that is applied to all we come across.
Over the weekend, I was talking to a friend and explaining to him how this one person in particular really grinds my gears. He simply said, “That means you got to reach down and give that person some of your special love.” And just like that, I understood that I had been misinterpreting what I though loving everyone was. What I was doing was loving the people I wanted to love and only tolerating the people I did not love. Now that is not to say that I hate anyone. However, I should be treating everyone with same level of perfect love, whether I want to or not. It is a commandment to love all, and that is what I have to do.
Sidebar: Love is not blind though. There is knowledge and wisdom to be applied within the process of love. So do not go around treating mass murderers and rapists to coffee saying that I told you to do so.
My friend then went on to use the metaphor of having a mentally challenged family member. Just because they may not adhere to the status quo of public behavior does not give you a right to neglect them or simply tolerate them. Understanding that they are deficient makes you treat them with more compassion, and seeing to it that they get what they need from your relationship with them. The same goes with people who may not understand the status quo for basic human interaction (I know it sounds funny, but it happens). It is not fair to tolerate someone when you know there is love available to use for that person.
I am far from understanding all I need to know when it comes to the application of loving all, but am grateful for understanding the possibility for doing so is there. I had been using toleration in exchange for what should have been God’s perfect love, and it made me realized that I had not been putting in the effort needed to do a host of other things required by Christians, especially the ability to forgive.