We love because HE first loved us. 1.John's letter 4, 19

 

Dear readers,

 

It is good practice in a democracy that we are allowed to have different opinions and to discuss them free and openly. Of course, politicians in our Western parliaments can hold completely opposing views and also argue about them. But that does not mean insulting the political opponent, despising him or even hating him. The political opponent should not be treated as an enemy.

 

Swiss politician Albert Rösti of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) said in an interview, "In politics you don't have to love each other, getting along is sufficient." That means you can argue about different goals, but you can still be respectful towards each other. To love each other would mean expecting too much, but to deal with each other peacefully and kindly can be sufficient. That should be a good base as a working relation.

 

What looks like a good base in political cooperation may become however a problem in private life. For example, if in a marriage love will turn simply into a more or less friendly togetherness, then this is bound to damage the relationship. Just getting along would mean that husband and wife live side by side in peaceful coexistence. Not in a marital feud, but far from the love that once brought them together.

 

Even in the Christian community, charity can turn just into peaceful coexistence. People are still friendly with each other, but actually do not have much to say to each other and go their way.

 

In contrast to this behavior the claim which we read in John´s 1st Epistle (verse 8) is quite different: God is love! It shows itself in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever wants to understand God's love is required to look at the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, his words, his works.

 

Whoever has been touched by God's love wants to pass this love on to others. He wants to distribute this love. Because God gave His Son for us, we can give our best for others. We can invest time and energy in the lives of our fellow human beings. We can actively help with the small and big problems that others have to deal with. We can come before God with our intercession for others. We can accompany them in prayer. We can also serve them by providing material help, if possible.

 

Charity is an active togetherness. It shows an interest into my fellow human beings. It wants the best for the other. It brings the light and warmth of God into life. It makes a new beginning every day.

 

Peaceful coexistence may already be very valuable in politics. But for us Christians, God applies a different standard: The Lord Jesus Christ. HE is the measure of all things. His love wants to give depth to our life and make us a blessing for others.

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© 2021 Hans-Peter Nann, Frankfurt am Main