I was reading some Genesis lyrics today. I always enjoy reading lyrics to get different perspectives on how people view the world. There are a few sentences in the song "Land of Confusion" that give some insight into what's wrong with the world today:
There's too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?
However, love as the world knows it is not going to solve our problems. So indeed this is a land of confusion.
I've been reflecting over the past few days on the greatest commandment of all:
4Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Jesus was referring to the commandment listed in Deuteronomy 6 which similarily emphasizes the importance of it in our lives:
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Then there is Matthew 5:43:
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Don't blink or you will miss the amazing power of this verse that is something the world cannot understand: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.
This is the key to all the problems we have in the world. We fail to love those who hate us or do us wrong. So, there is an ongoing cycle of animosity toward each other that will never end unless we can understand and practice this concept.
Jesus gave the greatest example of this concept while he was about to die on the cross when he said "Father forgive them. They know not what they do."
How could someone do that? Didn't those who persecuted, torchured, and then executed the savior of the universe deserve to be cursed? Or struck down by death on the spot?
Think for some time about your enemies. Some of them could be family members or ex-spouses. Perhaps its an abusive father or spouse. Perhaps its someone you personally don't know like a politician? A past friendship? Do you hate them or the things that they do? There is a big difference and its implications are important to understand.
Everyone can love those who love them. But how can someone love someone unconditionally? I'm not talking about sickness and in health or richer or poorer. I am talking about loving those who despise you...who make your life an absolute living hell....those who would kill you if they had a chance. Even those who do harm to you and have no remorse.
In order to have this kind of love, there must be a greater benefit that goes outside of what brings ourselves the greatest satisfaction in the relationship. This benefit is an obedience to the Lord's command. If we love Christ we will obey His command. Loving your enemy is an expression of love toward Christ. We may suffer because of it but we do it willingly because we have a trust in the Lord that allows us to do so and it is our absolute joy to show our love to Him because he has done so much for us.
Make it a point to pray about this, know about this, and then practice this in your life.