"The love of most will grow cold," He said.
I remember growing up, trying to dissect the meaning of that phrase but not fully being able to grasp the power and truth behind it. Now, experiencing just a small part of the world we live in today, I completely understand, and I completely agree.
Love. Think about what that word means to you. Does love mean a new car? A surprise puppy? Is it finding someone who is the same as you? Or someone who changes who they are just to be exactly who you want them to be?
Or, is love patient and kind? Does it not envy, or boast, and is it not proud? It doesn't dishonor others, it isn't self-seeking or easily angered, and it keeps no records of wrongs. It doesn't delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Religious affiliation aside, when you read the paragraph above, is that not what you want love to be?
Do you want your husband or wife to keep record of all your mistakes or only seek what makes them happy and never consider you? Do you want your best friend to be excited by evil and later you have to watch them reap the consequences of their actions? The answer to all of those should be no, but in today's world that seems to be such a grey area.
Love is superficial while instead, it should be unconditional. Who are you to tell me that I don't really love you if we don't fall on the same side of the political spectrum? Who are you to tell me my love is fake because I choose to live my life differently than yours? We are so focused on winning or having someone of a different background conform to what we believe is "right" rather than accepting each other's differences and rejoicing in the uniqueness that we all bring to the table. We are creating a divide among men and consistently reaping the consequences, but never taking any accountability, continuously casting blame on others. But we are all the problem.
I may not understand why you live your life a certain way or why you believe what you do, but I am called to listen and try to seek understanding just as much as I am to spread His word and spread love. But understanding does not mean conforming. I am who I am, and you are who you are. I want to know you to your core, but that doesn't mean I want to change all my morals and values to yours or to force my beliefs onto you and vice versa.
Real love is loving someone despite your differences or disagreements. Do you know how much harder it is to love someone who doesn't agree with everything you say rather than someone who does?
And that's where I find that first phrase true. The love of most has grown cold; we can no longer love those who don't agree with us or who aren't exactly like us, we are hurting our own people and for what? But as hard as it is, if you are one of those people who can see past all of that, continue to love them anyway. Love them even when you aren't getting that same love back. The insane power of real, honest love is beyond our complete comprehension.
This isn't about changing who you are, it's about learning to love those who you don't completely see eye-to-eye with. When your heart is true and your love is pure, good things come.
This only begins to graze the surface of a much deeper concept, but it's a start. The lack of empathy, understanding, and ability to live outside of ourselves is frightening, and it's beginning to gravely affect people and communities worldwide. People are coming out of broken homes, or no home at all, not knowing what it is like to be loved and taking it out on the innocent. This world has taken a dramatic turn for the worst, but each caring heart can make a difference. In a lot of cases, all it takes is one.
Before you do anything, begin your journey with love. It brings optimism and opportunity. With love, comes joy. Your kindness could turn someone from a dark path.
A good rule of thumb: even when they don't want to love you back, love them anyway.
Love. Them. Anyway.