Love Without Conditions…

loveI read someone’s post recently that listed a whole bunch of things for his reader’s consideration. He said that someone asked him what advice would he give to his children.  He listed so many considerate, loving and well-articulated things he would tell his children;. Clearly he loved them.  But out of all the things he listed, what resonated with me the most was “love without condition”.  During the time I read his letter, I had just received mail from someone telling me of an issue in their family with a teenager.This parent was clearly upset and so totally disappointed with what had just happened.  I had already responded to the friend and then I read this guy’s post.  I immediately thought about the situation that had just been described to me and although I had pretty much said the same thing, the phrase “love without condition” would not leave me alone.

I began to think about it.  I pondered it and asked, What is “love without condition” anyway? Well, immediately Jesus came to my mind. He is the only person that I can think of who ever loved without condition. He loved humanity so much that He died for us. Yet, there are so many in this world who refuse to believe it. They say that this is just a story that someone made up.  That Jesus was indeed a good man, but there is no way that he is the Savior of the world. My simple response? But He is. You might say, prove it. I can’t. I just believe.

I believe that Jesus is the ultimate example of unconditional love. He reached beyond His little home town, His little team of disciples, He reached beyond His own people, the Jews, to embrace and include people that nobody else would  even dare sit with. Hey, but Jesus did. Jesus didn’t mind being around hookers, drunks, the lowest of the low, He didn’t mind sitting with women or people of different races, because He loved without conditions. He forgave regularly and He knew how to meet people where they were without condemning them. He loved them without conditions.

You might say, well, there are conditions, you have to change your life to be a Follower of Jesus; to be a Christian.  No, that’s not true.  I was messed up, like many others, and He accepted me as I was and then as time went on, my life began to change because I wanted to change.  Unless you have lived in some secluded & remote place where you have never had to interact with others or you have only been around people who are exactly like you, maybe you don’t know that. But even you and those like you, are not perfect. When you met Jesus, you were not then and you are not now! Yet He still loved and continues to love you.  In fact, the Bible says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

I am not going to even pretend that I have mastered, nor that I am anywhere near loving unconditionally, but I hope that each day I get a little better at being loving, patient, & kind,. I hope that step by step I can become what we are told to become by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 :4-7 when he says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Hey, that’s a picture of what unconditional love looks like!  And unconditional love is not just for the people we like, it’s for everybody no matter color, gender, creed or (wait for it….!) sexual orientation.  We are to love people and let God handle the rest. Look, don’t judge me because I believe in loving others regardless of where they are. Hey, my sin and your sin may be different, but it’s still sin.the-new-commandment

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