Would you consider a mistake in math an option? Of course not! So with love. Should I love, or should I not? Dumb question. Here are some of the dumb excuses:
1. Can't love unless I am feeling it.
2. I have loved so-and-so many times, but no reciprocation - so forget it!
3. I am not going to love an obnoxious person.
4. I need love far more than he does.
Jesus addressed these types of excuses with the following analogy. Rain and sunshine are not selective. Nor should your love be selective. If you love only those that love you, big deal! Even heartless people do that!
On the other hand, Jesus also warned about wasting your eagerness to help "swine". This is not a contradiction when the love that he taught is understood.
Jesus did not regard people as your regular-old good person does. I find this explanation challenging but thought-provoking:
"Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal
man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour
saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man
healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom
of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy." (S&H)
Was he blissfully unaware of what is in man?! He was far more aware than the rest of us, but he was operating at a whole different level in loving - and so must we. St. Paul captured it in "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." If we hold in thought our fellow man as miserable, or depraved, or hopeless, etc., we are dwelling in Adam and love little, but if we refuse to be absorbed into a bad picture and rather declare on the side of a good God, and His creation, His man only good, we will do much. Whether feeding or comforting or refraining from giving sympathy, whatever we are led to do, our thought, in the way of Jesus, is love, in itself more powerful than much doing "as in Adam!"
This love is not an option. It is the correct answer to life problems.