THIS is probably the best definition of love:
Love can wait, love has a heart
Love doesn’t begrudge, doesn’t brag, isn’t inflated
Doesn’t act crude, doesn’t take advantage
Doesn’t pick fights, doesn’t plot evil and takes no delight in doing harm
But delights together in the truth.
It is always accepting, always believing
Always hoping, always enduring.
It is from the first letter from Paul to the community in Corinth and you will find similar sentiments in the Muslim Koran and the Hindu and Buddhist texts.
This is a call for unconditional love in a world where that sort of thing is often believed impossible. It is not for the weak-hearted or for those seeking sedatives.
And where is the weakness in the direction to love our enemies?
This is not a simple matter of accepting the disasters others place upon you, shrugging the shoulders and retreating into a cowardly state of acceptance.
It is acknowledging that others, like yourself, are not perfect, and finding some love for those who hurt you while not retreating from your own principles of right and wrong.
Implicit in that belief is the hard truth that we are all capable of devious deeds, untruth and deception.
The escape clause for those with faith is that there is a source of unconditional love and forgiveness that gives us the willpower and willingness to forgive others.