Today’s Scripture: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:43-44

A ten-year-old girl came home and tearfully told her mother, “I lost my best buddy today. She told me that she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, and then she said some really mean things about me to everyone else.”

The mother comforted her daughter as best she could. She hoped that this difficult experience wouldn’t sour her daughter on giving to others. When we love someone else, we sacrifice a part of ourselves. We expose ourselves to possible hurt.

C.S. Lewis said this:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

Lewis knew that to not love at all was to be selfish. That is why the Lord Jesus loved us so unselfishly by laying down His life, not just for His friends, but for His enemies.

Is there someone who continues to frustrate you by his or her words or actions? Is there a family member who seems to delight in making you mad? Does your child do things that you wish he or she wouldn’t do? Then learn to love in an unselfish way. Oh, sometimes you’ll be hurt, but when you make the choice to love, you are making the choice to really live.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder