God loves me. I have heard this thousands of times. But recently, I have realized that my interpretation of the love that God has for us has fallen dramatically short of its true nature. How can I have experienced so much love in life from people and given my love to people, but be so off about God’s love.
God’s kind of love is a love that is unconditional. The definition of unconditional is: not subject to any conditions. Thank you dictionary.com. Since the definition was not a lightning bolt of revelation, I started looking at the synonyms of unconditional, which are: unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unmitigated, unquestioning.
I think I love unconditionally, but I don’t. My love is often qualified: if I love you, you need to respond positively or I will take my love elsewhere. My love is limited: if you hurt me, I will draw back. My love is reserved: I will hold back some of my love, until you prove you are safe. My love is questioning: can I really trust you? Can I give you my whole heart? What if you leave me? My love doesn’t go away, but it has ebbs and flows. This is completely different from the agape love that God has for us. His love is completely NO STRINGS ATTACHED. He doesn’t need us to qualify to have it, we qualify by existing as we are, failures and all. His love is never restricted in any way, it flows and flows, regardless if we have chosen to accept it or embrace it or turn from it. His love is unquestioning. He, in the simplest and most perfect way, loves us. As we are. He looked at us, in the middle of our messy lives, living for ourselves, wrapped in sin, and thought, “What can I do to save these people from their sin?? From themselves?”
John 3:16 For God so loved the world He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If He was prepared for the rejection of His son, giving Him so willingly to save us, knowing that many would turn away, how can we think that anything we could do would cause Him to waver in His love and acceptance? In my opinion, God has every right to be angry, to be upset, to shake his head at us. However, there isn’t even a hint of disappointment on his behalf what-so-ever, because God’s motivation IS HIS LOVE FOR US, not our response to His love.
God’s love is so great that it isn’t just the words, or an idea, or a feeling that comes and goes. His love is an action. Agape= a love that knows all of our parts: past, present, and everything in between, embraces it all, ACTIVELY, and never expects anything in return. (Definition my own) This is the love that saves us.