The Ethic of Love that Christianity teaches does not mean seeing someone else as more intelligent / more cultured / more sophisticated or more mature and I am less. Rather the Ethic of love that Christianity teaches is an act of the will in which you say to someone else your needs are more important than mine. If you are looking your nose down at people and scorning people, you are in essence saying to the other person, “You are not at my level.” That’s why in I Corinthians 13, St. Paul tells us that Love is not proud because they are mutually exclusive. Pride and love cannot live together. Only someone who walks in humility can love like Christ teaches.
Christianity is actually an inter-connected set of radically-altered relationships and it goes like this: A Christian is someone who has come into a radically new relationship with others and its marked by having love not just for your friends and family but having love for your enemies. But the only way this is possible is for a Christian to first have a radically new relationship with himself—which means a new relationship with God.
For instance, people say its impractical to turn the other cheek. The Bible says its impractical not to and the only way you can have the power to turn the other cheek (with others) is if you have this radically new relationship in God which enables you to love other people and give to other people.
How? By having the understanding that you were once God’s enemy – a sinner saved by the grace of God and God alone. That and only that will change you. How can you forgive your enemies? Your enemies! How is that even possible? The only way this is possible is to know that you were once Christ’s enemy and yet he first forgave you. Think about this. What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is God’s Electing Love. Because of our sin, God because of his love for us, elected himself to forgive. He chose to be trampled upon. He reached out and said I want you and to prove it I’m willing to die for you. I have come to believe that the best definition for explaining love comes from catholic writer Thomas Howard who gives us the phrase: My life for yours. In the Birth of Jesus Christ we have this ethic made flesh. On the Cross we have this ethic in full realization. May we understand that this is what underpins our words when we say Jesus is the reason for the season!