Second Advent Candle: Radical Love
When faced with animosity what is our natural response? As kids it was natural to go into flight or fight mode. Even adults have a similar response to those that are antagonistic towards them. It seems natural to return hatred with hatred or try to hide from confrontation. Jesus taught a radically different response.
Jesus’ response to a hostile world was love. He taught love through words and actions. He demonstrated radical love even when He was confronted with contempt. Darkness will not overcome darkness. Only light will overcome darkness. His message was radical then and is radical now.
““To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.” Luke 6:27-36 MSG
God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love. Francis Chan
I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what was radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. David Platt
When you feel like you can’t explain your faith, go love someone — you just did. Bob Goff