Those who know me will attest to the fact that if there is any credo to which I have lived my life it is this:
One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him. ― Socrates
Returning an injury for an injury, or “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” as the ancient Mesopotamian Hammurabi’s Code is often paraphrased is a weak and cowardly form of justice. It ignores the power of love, compassion, and forgiveness and it justifies and codifies taking the low road. When you strike back at injustice you are lowered to the level of your attacker. When you strike back the injury is doubled.
Love’s command is absolute. You cannot profess to be governed by love and act on the commandment of love most of the time. It is an all or nothing affair.
One thought on “Love’s Command”
I appreciate your words. With this day being celebrated as MLK day some of his words come to mind in light of yours:
“I’ve seen to much hate to hate…hate is too great a burden to bear.”
I can’t make myself to believe that God wants me to hate. I’m tired of violence. And I’m not going to let my oppressor dictate to me what method I must use.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
“If there is to be peace on earth and good will toward men, we must believe in the ultimate morality of the universe, and believe that all reality hinges on moral foundations.”