There is the old joke that God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee. That being said, I think in reality the bigger gift is that he only commanded us to Love one another. Not easy, on its own, but a great deal easier to accomplish than to like everyone which is impossible. The the question remains, Live vs Love. What is the difference?
I bet everyone asked says they could define love. Remembering back to my youth and Fr. Rocky, one of his homilies was you can’t love something that can’t love you back. So you can’t love ice cream (I really think Mocha Java Chip could love me back, but doesn’t help my point). Our family debate centered around our dog and if we could love our dog. Can a dog really love us back? Being a dog “lover” I am going to skip that debate also. The point really being, what is Jesus asking of us. How can we love that person that is really hard to like, that person that just seeing them causes a bad reaction for us.
To understand this we have to realize all the different words for love in other languages, including Greek. It would be impossible and probably psychotic if we were to have romantic love for everyone or even familial love with everyone. What we are called to when told to love one another, is to see the presence of God in all those we encounter. To show every other person that same respect we all deserve by the fact that we are all human.
In addition the command is to love our neighbor as ourselves meaning that we are told by God that we have to respect and see the divinity of our own creation. We really can’t honestly respect or love anymore than we love ourselves. If we try, we end up with dependency issues and unbalanced relationships.
So Live vs Love
We can’t like everyone, that would end up being a boring world, we must however acknowledge the sacred nature of all God’s creation and give to all people that human dignity that they deserve.