I never liked coffee black. I never liked my coffee without sugar. But I love me a good cup of coffee. Any true coffee expert will tell you to try coffee without sugar.
“That’s so bitter”, I’d end up telling myself. How can you love something that’s bitter?
“Just try it. You will acquire the taste”, I was once told.
Now I take my coffee without sugar, mostly black and I love it! Is it bitter? Yes. Do I still love coffee? Yes. EVEN MORE! How did I get from there to here? Constant practice. Did the coffee taste change? No. What changed? My tongue’s preference.
Jesus had one command he gave to his disciples: Love one another. He went on to say ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. Love comes naturally with people who show you love. There would be no need to give a commandment about loving just those who love you. That would not need any saying. That would not need to be a command. The command kicks in when you have the option not to love.
How do I love a friend who betrayed me?
How do I love the neighbor whose music wakes me up at night?
How do I love that boss who’s trying to victimize me?
How do I love the person who’s backstabbing me?
How do I love that friend who said something behind my back and I was so disappointed when I found out?
Love, not like, not tolerated, is what was commanded here.
This is that bitter cup of coffee without the sugar. It takes practice to acquire the taste. But I love coffee!
I love — love.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.