mardi 3 avril 2012

Can We Love Someone That We Hate?

Listening today to Dr. Gary Chapman the author of "The 5 Love languages", he told a story of a woman who ambushed him and his wife with this question: "can we love someone that we hate" referring to her husband?

While answering that question, Dr. Chapman made a distinction between 'Love' as a feeling and the acts of Love. The first is a warmth feeling about/toward someone, while the second is about the acts of kindness. He said that though it may seem impossible and even hypocritical to have a pleasant warm feeling toward
someone we consider an enemy, it is not hypocritical however to show acts of kindness towards someone we regard as an enemy.

As i was musing at this sophisticated and enlightening distinction made by Dr. Chapman with regards to couples going through rough water in their relationships, my thought got lost in the biblical world in which Jesus was giving his beatitudes. Was he referring to the acts of kindness toward an enemy or was he referring on having the amazingly pleasant feeling toward an enemy when he said that we should love our enemy?

I seem to have concluded from a mental recollection of Jesus sayings in Matthew 5 as well as St. Paul's recommendation in Roman 12, that the 'love our enemies' doesn't imply having an ecstatic feeling toward our enemies but rather to have a heart predisposition to want to do good to those who have unjustly treated us,
even in the absence of the warm feeling. As i once heard, i guess it was the current Restoration Church Pastor Patric Massassu who said it, i can't remember well, "a man/woman of God is moved by what s/he believes and not by what s/he feels". The statement might sound too dramatic but it points to a necessary truth. We should be moved by our convictions since this one doesn't change easily and not by our feelings which changes more often than the weather and is subjected to frequent mood swings.

So if i happen to be correct and that Jesus was referring to the acts of kindness when he said that we should love our enemies, it goes without saying that we need to know what kind of acts of kindness should we show! The acts you may choose will depend on the kind of adversity you are being subjected to and with whom you are currently having that difficult moment.

I'll just mention one among many and i am sure you'll be able to find the others depending on your situation. Here is one of Jesus' love languages:
Jesus said: "Bless your enemy". 
BLESSINGS are one of the acts of kindness you can apply. Blessings are favorable words or deeds made towards someone. In the first century, we are told of a story of a religious murderer who made as his life purpose to erase Christianity from the face of the Middle East. At that time, such persons were becoming the norm rather than the exception. Historical documents tell us that at the mention of his name, it wasn't the feeling and the excitation of love that came to the christian community. However after probably years of being blessed by the Christian community, that character known in Palestine as Saul of Tarsus was reported to have had a supernatural intervention in his life and he stopped his murderous activities, and even converted to the faith he once despised to the death. You probably know him as the apostle Paul. Even a systematical murderer can change the history of the world if he is sufficiently blessed. Blessing someone who ill-treat you is an act of Love. And the book of Songs of Salomon (Song of songs) tell us that Love is as strong as death. One characteristic of death is that it has had in human history a perfect record of being irresistible so far. Everybody just seems to be incapable of escaping it. However, the Jewish scripture tells us that Love is as strong as death. I conclude that love is as irresistible as death. Send more love toward a wretched man/woman and sooner or later the change is going to come.

In this time of national mourning, starting this week, as we remember those who were unjustly killed in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Let us also remember Jesus words. If he is our Lord we know exactly what we should do with our personal hurts and griefs as well as our enervate obsession about our enemies. Jesus' ways always works. It is not about the feeling, it is about our new found conviction in Christ Jesus. Love is the way forward in the progress of our nation, it is the way toward the redemption of a lost relationship among couples, it is the way toward a stronger spirituality untarnished by darkened suspicions. It seems to me that God's remedy to our fallen world and broken condition is love.

If you love you are indeed his (JESUS) disciple!

REMEMBER JESUS - and Love your friends, love your enemies, love your family - love everybody by blessing them!

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4 commentaires:

  1. You are welcome Bruno. Glad you like it! ;)

  2. Thank you for sharing this insightful piece Eric, this is great food for thought particularly in this time. Bless you.

  3. amen.
    keep blessing us with your biblical insight brother.
    Blessings :-)