"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Nelson Mandella
This is a profound statement of how human beings were intended to be. I heard a pastor recently talk about how people excuse themselves when they do not love their neighbor saying, "I'm only human" or something to that effect. His point was that Jesus was the only person who was truly human in that we were meant to live a sinless life and love our neighbor. When I love my neighbor, I am acting in what should be the natural way for me to act because it is the way I was intended to be. For me, it feels right when I do what is right. It feels right when I show love to others. Perhaps this is in reaction to the inbred nature that I have as a human being. Clearly, I do not do what I should do, but when I do, the feeling of rightness might be an indication of me touching what I was intended to be.
This is what Mandela seems to be implying by his statement. If you agreed with the above, you would think love would come more naturally to people because God intended us to love, not to hate. Hate is unnatural. The fact that it is too often the choice does not diminish the fact that it is unnatural.
This really is an interesting concept as love should be the natural response to situations, circumstances, and above all else, people. Yet why are we so quick to hate? The simple answer is our flesh, our sinful human nature. Based on Mandella’s quote and my personal believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ, by our sinful nature we were taught how to sin, how to hate. This is then something unnatural we have learned to become “natural” to us, but I believe that we instinctively know that we would rather love than hate, that it is ultimately easier, and that it is ultimately better to love than to hate. We struggle against two thoughts of pattern, against two natures, but because we are once again made new in Jesus Christ after the fall of Man, we are constantly relearning how to love, and we know instinctively how to do so because Christ first loved us and demonstrated the ultimate example of unconditional, and sacrificial love that we all, if we are honest with ourselves, want, need and strive for. Therefore, Mandella is right that it comes more naturally than to hate because it is in our very nature and being to do so.
Commented on 12/11/2013
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