Meet Echo. According to Greek folklore, she was a mountain nymph whose speech was cursed. She could only repeat the last words anyone spoke to her. Unfortunately, when she fell in love with Narcissus, she was forced to watch him fall in love with himself! Today, the words, “echo chamber,” refer to being surrounded only with people who agree with you and can parrot back your own ideas.
Today’s verse demonstrates this idea of loving only those who love and perhaps agree with you. It is easy to love those who have exactly the same ideas and values we have. It is easy to love those whose political views coincide with our own. It is easy to love those who will not disagree or challenge anything we think or say. As this verse points out, one does not need to have Christ’s love to show this kind of self-centered and self-gratifying love. In contrast, the believer is to show love even to his enemies (verse 35). This love is shown by doing good to them and lending without thought of return.
I absolutely need Christ’s love in me to love those who are diametrically opposed to my beliefs and my values. It is not natural for me and it is difficult. But loving them is not about warm fuzzies. Loving others so different than myself is demonstrated through the good I show them. I may be opposed to a whole group of people and what they may stand for. But I am called to love the individual just as Christ does. His Spirit’s filling makes possible the impossible!
Lord, make me loving like You.