The Gospel that Christ preached is built on but one imperative – his great commandment of love. God created us out of love and it is our nature to love. But love is never easy. It is demanding and it takes a lot of effort to love. It is easy to love in good times. It is the bad times that makes it difficult. And yet, It is these bad times that make us truly realize what true love is.
Love is live giving. Babies who are showered with love grow up to be happy persons. And babies who are denied it are often sickly and encounter a lot of developmental problems. Animals, specially pets, often respond with love when treated with love. Even plants tend to bloom with more beautiful flowers when tended with loving care. I can imagine how living things evolved out of inanimate matter when these were animated by the power of God’s love.
And yet, in everyday life, it is not always easy to love. It does really take a lot of effort, specially if the person to be loved in not at all lovable. What if we were wired just to love? What if we had no choice but to love?
There is a genetic condition known as Williams Syndrome. Children with this condition tend to be very social, friendly and endearing. Families with such children often say the joys that they bring into the family is very touching and unimaginable. But there can be problems with such children. They can sometimes be too trusting for their own good. They can be so loving, they’d sometimes overstep the boundaries of acceptable social behavior. But that is because these children do not know any better.
Free will is an essential component of loving. We can choose not to love. And that is how God made it to be. He wants us to love but he wants love that we have decided to give. Love is a decision. We have to work on it. That is what makes love beautiful and life-giving in the end. God’s abiding presence in the world, the Holy Spirit, will show us the way.