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Struggling to Love

by David Jordan

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good (Romans 12:9).

It is struggle to love in the way we are supposed to. Authentic love—love of others with no preconditions or expectations— this is truly a tall order. And yet, in many of our religious traditions, we hear this type of expectation consistently: “Let love be genuine.” Love another person for who they are and how God created them, not what they can do for you.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa speaks about “ubuntu,” a word that people of southern Africa use to describe the deep interconnectedness of human life.[1] The concept in that culture pulsates with this biblical ideal: one cannot be fully human without being in and with relationships of other people. And the result, he says, is an abiding genuineness in love, authentic hospitality, nurturing kindness, and deep, interconnected, authentic relationships – even with people whom we assume might be vastly different than what we are accustomed to.  Try today to be as authentically loving with as you can and see what happens. We might be pleasantly surprised at the kind of responses we receive – and the potential outbreak of pleasantness that just might occur.

Learning to love as God intends can be a real struggle – and worth every effort.

Thought for the day:

“I am what I am because of who we are.”

            —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

[1] From the Bantu family of languages of which Zulu and Xhosa are a part. Pronounced “oo-boon-too.”

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