I saw a post on Facebook a couple of days ago that said, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy”. And it really got to me. It was posted on a faith-based page, and I think it’s primarily directed towards Christians, but we could all benefit from adopting this attitude.
There is no passage in the Bible that contains qualifiers for the mandate to love one another. Nowhere does it say, “love people who deserve it”, or “love people who never sin” or “love people who love you in return”. It just says, LOVE one another. There is no restriction on age, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, or any other of those lame excuses we come up with to justify NOT loving one another.
So the challenge for us as Christians (and I dare say everyone else too) is to decide what actions constitute loving one another unconditionally. No restrictions or qualifiers. One need not embrace the homosexual lifestyle to love a homosexual, just as we don’t have to be the same color in order to love one another. I guess I developed this attitude pretty early on in life, because one of my very best friends in early elementary school was a black girl, and I was completely baffled as to why the color of her skin should have any bearing on whether or not we should be friends, any more than someone’s hair color or eye color should. I never really have understood that.
This also kind of underlines how prejudice is a LEARNED behavior. We don’t pop out of the womb automatically disliking someone based solely on some random characteristic; the sad truth is that we TEACH this to our children. We teach them by words and deeds to treat someone differently because of their beliefs, their race, or who they choose to spend their lives with.
Until we reach the point where it simply doesn’t matter, we haven’t found true equality. This includes those who think they should be treated better simply because their group has been treated so poorly in the past. In fact, even if you personally have been mistreated, it doesn’t mean that you are entitled to preferential treatment to “make up” for it. That’s not any more equality than the mistreatment.
So that should be our goal: to get the the point where it makes absolutely no difference what color you are, or where you were born, or who you love. I can love you regardless, for I should not be judging whether you are “worthy”. That is the pinnacle of equality.