I believe we are ultimately tested most not by how we love our families, our friends. I don’t believe we are ultimately tested by how we love our enemies.
I think all we value, or say we value, is tested by how we love those we do not know, nor will we ever know. The greatest statement of principle is to help someone you have no connection to. You are not motivated by natural protectiveness, a sense of vengeance, nothing like that. It is simply to see how far we will go to back up what we say.
Maximillian Kolbe is the 20th century example. When the fascists invaded Poland, he valued service when he could have fled to safety. And when he ended up in a concentration camp, he volunteered to take the place of a condemned prisoner who had escaped. He did not know anything about this man- what religion he held, his character, what he had done for others. But Kolbe decided to make the greatest sacrifice.
It’s easy to talk big then chicken out in a real life scenario. How many people say they’ll protect the victimized, yet are too scared to stop a mugging? With strangers, there is no sentimental attachment. There is not the boiling hatred you have for those who wrong you.
Do you believe all people deserve love and empathy?
Are you willing to fight and die for justice or freedom?
These are tested when it is presented in a scenario devoid of prior feeling.
And how we answer the call tells us what we are really made of.