The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is much deeper than emotional bosh.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” We should be happy that he did not say, “Like your enemies.” It is almost impossible to like some people. “Like” is a sentimental and affectionate word. How can we be affectionate toward an enemy—toward a person whose avowed aim is to crush our very being and place innumerable stumbling blocks in our path? How can we like a person who is threatening our children and bombing our homes? That is impossible. But Jesus recognized that *love* is greater than *like.* When Jesus bids us to love our enemies, he is speaking neither of eros nor philia; he is speaking of agape—understanding and creative and redemptive goodwill for all men.
We are to love human beings not because we like them, nor because their ways appeal to us, nor even because they possess some type of divine spark; we are to love every person because God loves him.
Hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we will win our freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.