There are many who say we don’t choose who we love—love just happens. But we are commanded by Jesus to love, therefore, we do have a choice.
Love is a choice, not just a feeling. If love were not a choice, how could we possibly obey Christ’s admonition to love our enemy? If love were based on feeling alone, we would have no ability to obey. And obedience is something we’ve been given the power to choose to do or choose not to do, which is why it’s obedience. To be obedient we are required to overcome how we feel and choose to love even those who have spitefully used us. We can choose who we love.
Jesus never said love would be easy; He just said “love”—love Him, love our neighbor, and love our enemy. And He went into great detail about who our enemy is.
Because love can be a difficult choice, I have had to learn to rely on God’s help when choosing to love. When I am weak, He helps me make the right choice. Without His help, I’d choose to not love those who have hurt me.
Understanding how love is a difficult choice helps me also recognize the purpose of my struggles. My struggles have taught me compassion. Compassion drives love, and love drives compassion. Though I’m not sure which comes first, they both work together hand-in-hand.
Being able to empathize with another involves a great deal of cost. And compassion for the one who seems to be unloveable comes at an even greater cost. In my experience, more struggle is present when learning the lesson of loving my enemy.
The truth is, I’m one who is most unloveable. And it cost Him a lot to love me. Yet He was willing to pay the ultimate price to express His love towards me. Herein is great love—He laid down His life for me. There is no greater love than this.
To love or not to love seems to be our ever abounding question within. We fight against loving the one we deem unworthy of our love, but the right choice is always love. Where would we all be without it?