Christian Living · Reflections

The Opposite of Love

Contrary to common notion, hatred is not the opposite of love. Indifference is.

When we hate someone, we feel a strong negative emotion towards him or her precisely because we still care or at least get affected. But when we no longer care, we tend to become callous and indifferent, and we ultimately lose love. For love, after all, is outgoing concern.

What’s tricky is that sometimes, we don’t easily detect it when indifference creeps in—we just continue doing our own ways thinking we have no obligation to others whatsoever. But indifference is detrimental to our Christian growth. So it is high time we ponder and dig down deep inside us and see if we have let our love grow cold.  When we do become indifferent, there are core values that we unwittingly take for granted:

1. Selflessness

The primary reason why we are indifferent to others is because we are self-absorbed. We are so preoccupied with our own personal pursuits, exploits, and frustrations that we seldom get out of our way to reach out. One solution is to have a change of heart. As Christians, we are required to get out of our comfort zones and go above and beyond helping others even if there seems nothing in it for us. But when you look at the big picture, we actually gain heaps in being a living sacrifice. We may be inconvenienced at the time being, but in reality,  by learning to shed off the selfish nature bit by bit, we fulfill a three-fold Utopian dream that is to build a godly character.

2. Humility

Sometimes, the reason why we are indifferent to others is because we deem them inferior to us. But we are taught to esteem others better than ourselves and look out for their best interest. This also helps us avoid the pitfalls of self-righteousness. Because even if people display some behavior contrary to what we believe is right, we are to show mercy since we are no better than anyone else. Instead, we are to patiently bear with one another. No matter what happens, always look at the good side of people and learn to be humble lest we fall from the highest of pedestals.

3. Forgiveness

Lastly, we tend to be indifferent to those who have wronged us. It is natural for us not to care about those who may have hurt us in the past.  As humans, we tend to be cold towards those who don’t belong to our circle of friends but we ought to be bigger than that. God commanded us to forgive and do good to those who treat us wrongly.

The key to beat indifference is to turn it back around and back to love. Being a Christian is at its heart the love of God. We need to rekindle the zeal to actually put love in action. God gave us talents, skills, capabilities, time and resources not for our own gratification but to be of service to others for His glory.  Let’s all strive to grow in love and we will surely keep indifference at bay. For though we have all knowledge but have not love, we are nothing.

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