BEING treated as we would be treated creates a problem.
If we would be loved how we would wish to be loved, we should wish to love the person loving us with the love that would satisfy us. We would give to them what our own standards would demand. Applying our own standard of love is the only reasonable thing we can do. And everyone deserves it.
If we cannot love someone to the extent of our own requirements of acceptance and courtesy, we must surely need to ask why.
Why, when we have agreed with God — as his disciple — to love all as we would have them love us? It should cause us great consternation. If we cannot forgive someone, surely we are compelled to explore why? Why is it we resist God?
The reason is something isn’t reconciled. But the Bible tells us to reconcile all things through the imperative, “Go!” (See, for instance, Matthew 5:24; 18:15.)
When we cannot love someone as we would have them love us, perhaps because of our perception of their actions toward us, we have the work to do, not them so much.
We have to engage with them, honestly, courageously, with sincerity, and with the ardency of hope that matters can be reconciled.
They may not even be aware of the impasse.
And, of course, it goes the other way. If someone comes to us — with courage and integrity that is admirable — and seeks our repentance so they may forgive us, we have work to do in the opposite direction. Time to put on the listening ears and caring heart (which should always be the case if we appreciate being heard and understood).
What can we give but ourselves, our love, our gentle truth, in the midst of embracing others in the midst of their truth? It’s all we can give. It’s always enough. We can be content with that.
To love people in our midst is our aim.
To smile when we would hope to be met with a smile is to live out God’s will.
To listen to someone when we know that if we were them that we’d love to be listened to; that’s the doing of God’s will.
To have someone give us the time of day and not to be inhibited by us is what we can give to another.
To smile when we can is to love someone just because we can.
To share in a hope or a dream or a despairing loss with someone is to love them with compassion.
Compassion is the capacity to love another person as we would be loved if we were in their situation.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.