Saturday, September 10, 2016

what love means

Lewis tells us about loving people today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

And learning to love people is very important, though it seems like an odd thing to "learn". Don't we either love people or we don't?

But when Jesus told us to love people, including our enemies, He wasn't telling us to have warm, fuzzy feelings about them. He wasn't telling us to LIKE them. He was telling us to ACT toward them in a way that was love - the same kind of love that God not only gives all of us... but the love that He in fact IS.

And Lewis tells us something important about loving people today. He says that when we love someone, we do something for them. We "do them a good turn". Well, the way we can do that is to learn what someone likes or needs and helping them to get it. Now, wisdom is needed here. Even though a drug addict likes or "needs" drugs doesn't mean we're loving them by helping them to get some.

But usually, learning someone's likes and preferences is a good way to love them. And, what we often find, when we learn what they like, we get to know them a little better. And the better we know someone, the easier it becomes to not only love them... but even to like them a little more.

Like Lewis says, when we start loving someone in the dispassionate, Jesus-commanded sense, we find ourselves disliking them less. We might even, after a few years of loving them the way Jesus commands us, liking them as people. Then the warm fuzzy feelings might eventually come.

But even if not - Jesus wasn't making a suggestion or asking if we wouldn't mind. Our two greatest COMMANDMENTS are to love God and love other people. So, like Lewis, we had better figure out how to do that, because it is clear that it's important to Jesus that we do so.

God, thank You for helping us to begin liking the people we're called to love.