"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” Luke 6:32
Westboro. ISIS. Those names represent everything we hate: Bigotry. Extremism. Self-righteousness. We feel justified in hating them; it’s hard not to. But they give us a great opportunity to practice what Jesus taught about loving our enemies. Compared to them, even the most annoying people in our lives seem loveable. Love does not mean we condone their actions. But it means that we desire God’s best in their lives, and are willing to help that happen. Uncommon love means we love people who don’t deserve it, who may never love us back. Jesus wants us to love Westboro. ISIS. Political opposites. Even ex-spouses.
So why does Jesus require such a difficult thing? The answer is simple: because we can’t do it alone. No way can we love a black-hooded executioner beheading a missionary. It’s not in us, and that’s what Jesus wants us to recognize. It is supernatural to love people like that; our human love won’t stretch that far. We don’t even want it to. But when Jesus’ followers show that kind of love, the world takes notice. It’s unnatural. It’s unearned. It’s uncommon.
Anyone can love the lovers, but who loves the haters? We do.