Okay, so 2 days ago I continued reading the book “Mere Christianity” by C.S Lewis (AMAZING BOOK!!) And after reading one of the chapters about Forgiveness, I feel the urge to share with you all 🙂
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
We hear it all the time. Love your neighbor like you love yourself. Loving your neighbor here also means loving your enemies and those who have hurt you. True that it is much easier said than done! Because loving your enemies mean forgiving them for whatever wrongs they have. But it is not impossible! Everyone says forgiving is such a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.
First of all, ‘love’ here does not mean you feel fond of that person or that you find him attractive. So, what does it mean? Well, how do you exactly love yourself? Do you feel fond of yourself? Are you attracted to yourself? Of course not! Hmm, do you think well of yourself? Do you think yourself as a nice person? This I’m sure you’ll answer yes. Or at least sometimes. But you love yourself not because you think yourself as a nice person. In fact, it’s the other way around; you loving yourself makes you think you are a nice person. So loving your enemies does not mean they are nice either! Many people think that forgiving their enemies means thinking that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite clear that they are. But you know what, you should only hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man.
Hate the sin, not the sinner. How on earth can I hate what a man did without hating the man? Actually the answer is pretty easy, you and I both had been doing this all our lives. To someone namely ourselves. We sin, and we hate it when we sin, and yet, we still love our own selves with no slight difficulty. It will be selfish if we cannot do the same thing to others. I then realized that I hate the sins because I love myself. I feel sorry that I am that type of person who did all those bad stuffs. Likewise, we should hate the sins of others like we hate our own sins: being sorry that the man should have done such things and hoping that somehow he can be healed. By doing this, we are actually hating the sins, but loving the person.
“I admit that loving your enemies means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But you do realize that what is there lovable about ourselves? You love yourself simply because it is yourself! God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco…” CS Lewis
True. True. True. All true. God loves us simply because we are His children. And for every sin we commit, His heart breaks. He hates our sins, and still, He loves us unconditionally. He forgives us continually. Need I say more?
“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4a)
Learn to forgive, keep hating the sins, you should. But don’t hate the sinners. Love them instead, pray for them. Spread the love. X.