I have a problem with forgiveness. I cannot let go of the afflictions I’ve suffered at the hands of a loved one. I lay it before the cross one day, and creep back in the dark of the night to steal it back again.
Pain is powerful. It controls us. In a sick way, it seduces us and makes us to believe that we are justified to cut off the flow of love in the direction of the offender. In one fell swoop of the mind we make ourselves the judge, displacing the real Judge whose ways are as high as the Heavens are from the Earth. Is that really what it looks like to commit my ways to Him?
Why must we always allow others to dictate whether we obey and follow the Lord’s call to holiness? We may not think that’s what we do but it is whenever we withhold love from others.
I’m not doing (blank) for her… she never (blanks) for me
This sentiment, coming in many forms in our day to day conversation, is a regular one in my attitude. Whether it’s a rude customer, or difficult friend, or someone I’ll never cross paths with again – I love others based on how they love me. That is called conditional love.
But being righteous and perfect, as the Lords desire is for us, means unconditional love which is love that is not dictated by any other force than love, of which God is the ultimate source.
I think unconditional love seems dangerous ground for us because it pulls the rug of control and security from beneath us. It says, “You’re not in charge of policing the actions and attitudes of others. Your hurt feelings are not relevant when it comes to the love God commands of us for each other.” Harsh as it may sound at first, it is true. We avoid it because it feels unnatural to our natural flesh, but
Is NOT being a pushover // It is strength under control
Does not render justice impotent // God has promised justice for sin and mercy for sinners who turn to him.
Is the defining characteristic of God // We love in this way if we claim to belong to God.
Take some time to sit with the Lord and answer these questions. Tell Him honestly where you struggle. I pray and ask that God would gently reveal in His time what you need to hear.
How are you loving others today?
Have you ever experienced unconditional love? (In addition to Salvation)
Is there something standing in the way of loving certain people?
What would it take to remove that obstacle?