There has always been hate in the world. Since the days of Adam and Eve there has been envy and strife. And so it continues. We have every excuse in the world for our lack of love. We don't agree with this one's decisions. We don't like that one's choices. They are too fat, too thin, too old or too young. It has become easier to be indifferent than to show kindness and compassion.
This world is a messed up place. It doesn't take much to realize that.
Hey, messed up world, I have a message for you. We were called to love.
John 15:12 says "This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you."
I think this is where we get messed up, though. We look at others through eyes that are tainted by our own self hatred.
Yes, I just said self hatred. We have allowed ourselves to become so muddled up in what we perceive we are not that we have no comfort with who we are. We allow ourselves to live beneath our purpose and accept things that were never meant to be in our lives because we do not love ourselves enough to rise above our circumstances.
We turn to things and people to fill this loveless void in our hearts when we need to be looking within ourselves, striving to fix that broken concept that we are not worthy of the love that our very soul needs so desperately. You don't pour into something that you don't care about. You put your energy into something you feel is worthwhile.
I spend time looking at myself. Not out of vanity, but I look at myself to see what others see when they look at me. What do they see in my face? How does the way I carry myself reflect to those who don't know me? If someone who has never met me saw me coming toward them, could they tell I place value in myself?
I see myself through eyes that love ME. I look in the mirror into the eyes of the only person who truly knows my heart, who has felt every heartache I have felt, whose arms were always there to hold me when I cried, the person who has seen me at my very lowest, and who was there through the best times of my life.
This person looking back at me knows my dreams, my desires, my hopes and my plans. They know just how far I can go and they have been witness to times when I found strength I never realized I had.
I look at this person some days and I cannot believe it is me.
And yet, it IS me. And I have developed a close, abiding friendship with myself. It has made me more protective of my future, my dreams, and my heart.
And it has also made it so much easier to love those that have not learned to love themselves and to accept what that love means.
I can look at others and say that I understand where they are on their journey.
He commanded us to love one another as He loved. He didn't ignore the sin in others lives. He told them to straighten up and not live like that anymore. But, He loved. He died out of love and with love.
I may not agree with the sin, but I can love the sinner. And, I love myself enough to know that doesn't mean I should allow myself to be caught up in those sins. Sin still takes you farther than you ever wanted to go.
But, I can love. I can look at others in their broken situations through eyes that see their brokenness as well as their situation.
Love is the greatest gift you will ever give. Give that gift to yourself and soon it will overflow into those around you.
"This is My commandment....." To love.