G. K. Chesterton said, “Love means to love that which is unloveable, or it’s no virtue at all”. Think about that for a moment. It’s easy to love the loveable, but loving that which is unloveable is a lot harder.
The Christmas season is full of love messages. Christians celebrate God’s gift of love sent into the world in the form of a baby. The Hallmark Channel is flooded with movies about finding love at Christmas. We give gifts to those we love, and our generosity, which we often equate with love, extends to those in need through the Salvation Army red kettles and other organizations that collect and distribute gifts and food to children and families in need.
Most of us spend Christmas with family and friends we love. We share food, drink, gifts, and make memories. And this is love, but not the kind of love of which G.K. Chesterton spoke. His quote transcends the love of family and friends. He says loving the unloveable is a virtue. What is a virtue? The definition of virtue is the practice of moral excellence, doing the morally right thing. In other words, to practice virtue means we reach beyond our feelings, ego, and selfishness to do the right thing. Putting virtue into practice is an action.
The Bible says God is love. We, in our purest form, are the essence of Divine Love. We are love. When we deny others love, we are denying them what we have been offered freely by God and others. We have all been unloveable and in need of forgiveness at some time in our lives. The virtues of love and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin.
If we received love and forgiveness when we were unloveable how can we deny the same to others?
As we approach the Christmas season, let us examine our hearts and ask ourselves to whom we have denied love, denied forgiveness? Loving the unloveable is easy. It requires little, if anything, from us. Loving the unloveable requires us to reach beyond our egos and selfishness to do the morally right thing…..