Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
So how did politics slip into a blog on mental health? Our values guide us and our politics. Even in political turmoil, love is a moral value. and we all know that without it we cannot be whole.
First, a definition of love
Love is action. It is caring enough about a person or nation to sacrifice for their wellbeing. When a war veteran says he or she loves America, it means something different than corrupt leader’s glib, “Gotta love America” as he or she rakes money into their greedy arms.
Love is superior to romance. Romance is often only lust and warm fuzzy feelings. These are focused on one’s pleasure. Romance matures when love is the overseer and leads to kindness, patience, acceptance, honesty, and consideration of each other’s feelings and needs.
Love is a choice. In minor interactions as well as deeper connections, it is our decision whom to love. We can treat waiters and cashiers as persons worthy of respect or as nonentities. It is up to us to forgive family members or retaliate. Applying effort to know someone is an option as is making superficial judgments.
Politics and love
Valuing love will guide political opinions and votes. Of course I have political opinions but am much more concerned about how Jesus’ words, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” are ignored in this world.
Plenty of self-love is evident from political leaders to the average citizen. For example, why does a populace vote on economics rather than moral character or skill? Why are innocent people in prison in the era of DNA testing? Why is there homelessness in this affluent country?
Love is not voiceless and demands I stand up against injustice whenever possible. Nonetheless, while speaking out, my job as a follower of Jesus is to accept those who disagree and to refuse hate. Love tops politics every time.
Love and Learn
Respectful dialogue is vital. Truth on either side of an issue can withstand scrutiny. Hollering, arguing, and stubborn close-mindedness drive people further apart until no progress can occur. Learning from each other does not change the truth, it teaches us how to love each other as we love ourselves.
Today’s Helpful Word
Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’“
Comments are always welcome. NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.