Unconditional Love - What it Really Is
Posted by Rod Neufeld on April 16, 2015
What is “unconditional” love? Can we live by the examples given to us in the Bible? Our culture’s notion of love is skewed by many influences.
It is getting harder and harder as Christians are called intolerant and narrow when we take a stand on something. Are we really that way?
God has showed us love. Without Him there is no love, rather, fragments of misunderstood feelings we use to mimic what we perceive as love. Try as we might, we need God to reveal to us what true love really is.
A great description of God’s love is revealed in 1 Corinthians 13. This type of love is “agape” love. It is selfless. It has no real limits or exceptions. I encourage you to read this chapter for a clear understanding of how we are to love one another. It’s rather interesting how we often will show this type of love to strangers but slack off a bit when it comes to loved ones and family. I suppose sometimes they can make it hard to love them but we were never told we would face life without trials. It is through the trials we grow!
Now when you read this chapter like myself we think, “How can anyone do that?”
Well, we can’t. The purpose of the lesson is to show the effort and the awareness we should have when we fall short of that love. This being said, if we cannot put in the effort to love people unconditionally, then how can we ever say we love God? “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40 KJV)”
This verse was taken from an example that Jesus was giving about showing charity, the practical demonstration of love. We can see through the whole Bible many examples of people showing this love to God and others.
For example: Hannah loved the Lord and asked for a son that she would be happy to give right back to God expecting nothing else. She handed the very young Samuel over to Eli and visited him every year. Later on the Lord would bless her with many more children, though she expected none. She was pleased enough to have Samuel even though she gave him over to the Lord as she had promised to Him. Read the story in 1 Samuel 1-2.
I could list many more examples of people in the Bible that loved the Lord more than they loved themselves or their own needs. Then this would be a novel not a blog.
Here is my point in all of this. God looked down upon His creation and saw it had become stiff necked, disobedient, wicked, unruly, etc. Knowing this, He sent His own Son who came willingly to leave His place at the Right hand of The Father, lay down His life and take on the entire wrath of almighty God for every sin ever committed or to be committed. Now, that is LOVE. Indescribable, unimaginable LOVE. We cannot repeat this. At best we can only offer a pale reflection of what this love truly is.
So, let’s do that, When our hearts say, “No,” let’s say, “Yes.”
Let’s become a brighter and clearer reflection of God’s love. Not just to strangers and those close to us, but to all. Not that we can earn favour from it or some extra special blessing. Let’s show “AGAPE” love to all, that they may see the Son in us and then desire to know the Father! Life is fragile and short while we are down here. Let’s make the most of it!
Let’s start at home with our spouses, our kids and our neighbours. Then, go out and share the Gospel, Help the poor, love your neighbour and try to see in others what Christ saw in us.
Will you commit to be selfless in your love of the Lord and of others? Let’s take the step to put the effort out there. The worst thing that could happen is that the body of Christ may grow a bit as a result. The best thing that could happen is that the body of Christ may grow a bit. Put in the effort and let God make the increase. It may not be an easy road but the reward is great!