The way of Jesus is the way of love, love even of one’s enemies. In that way we are told that we can be like our Father in heaven, who causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
I was touched by this testimony from “fourteen-year-old Larissa Heatley, Dallas Willard’s only granddaughter, delivered [as] a personal tribute at his memorial service.” She goes into some detail of how he showed love to her. These words stood out to me (though the entire testimony, not that long–and there’s a video of it–stands out to me, as well):
Everything he did was so loving and kind and unconditional. He had unconditional love for everyone that he met. That was another thing he taught me: Love everyone.
Yes. That is the kind of life I want to live. No matter what, to love. Of course love takes many forms, there is such a thing as “tough love” I think, when you give someone close to you what they need instead of what they want, always tenderly and gently (should be the goal).
Jesus, and God in and through him loved unconditionally, all the way to the cross. And we as God’s resurrection people in Jesus need to do the same. We in Jesus are to be like him in this life, to live as he did, to become like him even in his death.
Love wins alright, but only the love of God in Jesus wins outright at and to the end. And we’re to love with no strings attached. Not for what we can get out of it. But for the good of others. Of course love welcomes another’s love, but love is to go on, regardless. We are to love even those who may be hateful to us. We surely can’t do that in our own strength. But by God’s grace in Jesus by the Spirit we surely can. Together in Jesus in this for the world.