Ok, so my personal journey to believing in God started relatively late in life and while i’ve learned a lot since, it’s mostly learning the ‘theory’ and not getting too far in the actual practical application in my self. ( Just DO It, dummy!)
I was finding it a little hard to figure out just exactly what a loving relationship to an all-powerful, eternal, universal-sized being could be like from my own point of view. It was a little like being an ant and trying to love an elephant – only more ludicrously out of proportion.
Then i had a moment of inspiration yesterday… why not ask God how i can love Him?
So I did and very quickly He got back to me when the thought entered my brain…
“Love thy fellow man as thyself.”
Loving something no man alive today has ever seen face to face might be a tad hard to do or contemplate, but loving all mankind (one-on-one as you happen to come into contact with them) – that’s do-able! 🙂
Only, as i mentioned in a previous post (Best Exercise…), ‘thy fellow man’ includes lots and lots of people and groups of people that up until quite recently made me feel very, very, angry and loving them i felt would be somewhat of a Challenge.
But He had the answer to that also…
I’ve loved a few people in my life – it isn’t really all that hard to do (although making it last can be less easy). Generally when you (i) love someone you (i) love them for the good way they make you feel inside as a result of who they are and what they do. You like to be around them and often act in a similar way to them – you like the same things (mostly!).
But not all people make you feel that way (good) quite a few, for an infinite variety of reasons, can make you feel – what’s the word? – Bad, in fact. Generally you (i) don’t normally love these people and it has a lot to do with the way they act and/or think being of a contrary nature to yours (mine).
What was His answer to that?
Simple, love the people who make you feel good for the good example they personify to you… and love the people who don’t for the good example of what NOT to personify.
(Note: this means ALL people can be a GOOD example to you – some for what to do, the rest for what not to do.)
If you see or hear of someone doing something that seems unbelievably stupid, or even just plain evil or mean you don’t have to love what they did. You certainly don’t have to do as they do. But you can love the fact that they helped you see how NOT to behave, act or think and to choose to be less like them and more like those you do love for their inate self and the actions or thoughts they embody and can raise or improve in your self.
Loving the fact that they (the annoying person) helped you, by allowing you to see how unattractive negative acts are in a person (such as yourself for example), can allow you to love that person, if not actually embrace or adopt their attitudes to whatever it was that you did not like in them in the first place and thus turn disgust or anger at them into love.
Ok – so that’s my ‘new’ theory… now to turn it into practice – and then habit.
Anyone care to join me? 🙂
Footnote: I should add that a precaution may be necessary to the above topic. The ultimate aim – to help all mankind love all mankind without exception which i believe is of Godly intent – requires each one of us to know what is good and what is not so that we cleave to the good and abhor the bad. Unfortunately this comes down to personal choice and we as human beings (carnal, of the flesh) are fallible in this regard. What some think of as good others might think abhorrent and vice versa. We need to try to see from the side of the Spirit that unites all, rather than our own individual consciences/thoughts.