“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
~ Thomas Merton
I love you. Here, I’ll prove it. I’ll hold your hand. I’ll give you a big hug. I’ll go with you everywhere today. I’ll agree with everything that you say. I’ll make sure that you get whatever you want. Um, folks, that’s not love. It might be puppy love. It might be infatuation. It might even be stalking for all that I know. But that is not love. That is enabling behavior.
Love is something much more all-encompassing than that. Love desires the good of and for another. Love is unconditional. Love is patient and kind. Love will lead us to pray for others, asking God to pour His blessings upon them.
Hence, it is possible to love someone that we don’t like. We may not like what a person does or says. We might not like what a person represents. We might not like what a person is doing. But, we can love that person nonetheless, praying for the good for that person and asking God to lead that person to what is good and right and just.
When we determine someone as being “worthy”, we set ourselves up as judge and jury. That is grossly unfair both to the other individual as well as to ourselves. When we do so, we sully our own souls. We, after all, are unworthy. It is only through Jesus’ saving love that we can be found worthy. On our own, we are nothing.
Jesus loves us completely. He is with us always and is willing to give us whatever we need in order to grow closer to Him. Notice, he doesn’t give us whatever we want. That would be dangerous as the things we often want are detrimental to ourselves. Instead, He gives us what we need. And we should be able to do the same for others: those we like and those we do not like.
Just as His sun shines on the bad and the good, as He rains on the just and the unjust, we, too, should love all, desiring the best for them and praying that God pours such grace into their hearts as to enable them to change for the better.
FAITH ACTION: Love freely, without condition or reservation, especially those whom you may have shunned in the past.