The Courage of Love

Some days it seems that the world is very cold. It feels like you are in the way and everyone wants to run over you. No one seems to care. Days like that cause us to seek refuge in those whom we know love us: family, good friends, and those who depend on us.

However, Jesus once again surprises us. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32). There is nothing admirable about loving people who are willing to return the same love to you. Everybody does that. Jesus challenges us to love those who won’t.

This kind of love takes courage because we may not receive a favourable response from those we try to care for. They may reject us; react unkindly; or worse, treat our actions as if they don’t matter. It seems that a cold world wants to snuff out the warmth of love.

Somehow Jesus went through life caring for people who didn’t always care for Him. Pharisees, scribes, the rich, selfish and cruel all saw a man of great warmth. In the end, He died for them. There were more people who rejected Him than those He managed to change. But He had the courage to love people, regardless of their response.

Jesus gave us a great rule of thumb that helps us live like that. “And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way.” (6:31). Do you have the courage?

– Tim Johnson