It’s February. The month of love. Can I be honest though, loving my loved ones is easy, so easy I do it every day all year-long. But loving those I hate… yeah, that makes me squirm. Which is exactly why I’m challenging myself to talk out loud about it. Let’s be real. Neither one of us is very good at sharing love with those who’ve offended us or straight-up made us mad.
Oh sure, we can be polite and show courtesy to the mean girl next door. We can smile back at the rude one in line behind us. We can even tolerate a little awkward between feuding exes or tension from the rude relatives. We grit teeth and clinch fists and throw out a phony smile. We can post nice comments to her latest photo but on the back-end curse her name and flip a bird at the computer screen, with a glorious gruff.
Oh, I get it, trust me. You have been hurt by someone’s words, someone did something to back stab you and sabotage your dream. You’ve lost, been falsely accused and there’s no doubt you’ve faced rejection. It hurts.
If you’re like me, you can tolerate them. But can you love them?
Oxford Dictionary defines tolerate as accepting or enduring (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance; allow, permit, swallow, stomach, deal with.
I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t mean tolerate when he said “love your enemies”. It doesn’t say “put up with those who hate you, stomach those who mistreat you.” Nope, that wasn’t what he said. Jesus asked us to love those who’ve hurt us. Love them. Prefer them. Take pleasure in them. Esteem them.
Uh. No thanks. (Commence squirming)
But hold up. When I really look at the world around me, tolerance doesn’t seem to have gotten us anywhere. In fact, it’s only fueled this fire of hate and undermined the truth. Throughout history, the only time good changes were made was when love ruled the motives.
So, friend. we must keep digging through this issue. We’re going to have to step out of tolerating those who anger (frustrate, annoy, confuse) us and start loving them.
Tolerance is enduring for the sake of peace. Love is being present for the sake of connection.
And I want more connection. In this like/dislike – share the rant – throw shade – kind of world, we need real connection over just comments. We need tangible relationship over cyber quarantines.
We need love to out the hate.
Can we chat some more about how we do this love thing? Join me next week, same time, same place.