By: Linda Grabeman
How would your life change if you really believed God loved you…unconditionally?
Not just when you have your daily quiet time, attend church regularly or even better, go on a mission trip. No, in the middle of your yuck, when you’ve barely spoken to Him in days, you fall asleep without praying, or even worse, while praying, and you bark at your best friend when she has done nothing wrong.
Do you believe He loves you then?
I’d like to say I wholeheartedly believe that, but I’m on the way. It’s a journey. It’s a head to heart thing. My head believes it 1000%. My heart is learning. And you know what teaches me—the precious love of my Father towards me when I have been absent from His company, truant from Bible class, not acting like a beloved child.
Here’s the truth, as hard as it is to believe: Our actions do not affect His love.
It is truly Unconditional. U.N.C.O.N.D.I.T.I.O.N.A.L. In our world, that kind of love doesn’t exist. There is no “all the time, no matter what, forgive and forget forever” love here. So, we project our strings-attached mode of thinking on Him. We assume that He feels, thinks, and acts as we do. We couldn’t be more wrong.
Contemplating how my life will change when I finally get my heart and my mind coordinated on this concept, I discovered three sweet effects:
- I won’t have any long pauses in conversation with God anymore. That certainly will be nice. Awkward moments are not fun in any relationship.
“I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again…” Jeremiah 3: 3-4
- I won’t have to apologize a ridiculous amount of times anymore. Once will do. What a relief!
“I’ve wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There’s nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I’ve redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22
- I’ll act loved because I feel loved.
“ We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First, we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” I John 4:19
I think Satan has a one-two punch that has worked for him for way too long. (If you are counting, he’s used it since the Garden. A very long time.) Here’s his strategy: First, convince us that we don’t need God, but if that doesn’t work, persuade us that we don’t deserve God…that we’ve done something too bad, too many times, and God is done with us. We’re not falling for it anymore!
We don’t have to win God’s affection. No more working for His love, we have it already. He knows every mess up in our entire lives and it hasn’t dulled His love one iota. So, let’s just live out of that unconditional love.
Let’s live like He loves us with no strings attached.