For the last several years, God has been nudging me to learn how to love unconditionally. What that boils down to is this; accepting someone just the way they are. That can be extremely hard to do, especially when you are around them. You might live with them, work with them, or be connected to them in another way. You might even know them through the church.
They probably don’t think like you and certainly don’t do everything the way you do or the way you think it should be done. They might even have personal habits that discuss you or you choose to get angry about. It’s hard and, at times, extremely hard! Especially when you are tired or low on patience and understanding. The problem may be with you. Like you may have high expectations. Or you might have arrogance issues thinking your way is the only way.
So how do you love the one that is so different than you? First, you have to make a willful decision to love them. To accept them as they are. They’re most likely not ever going to change, but you can. Then you have to remind yourself what real love is constantly.
Real love demonstrates patience, and genuine love is kind to the other person. Unconditional love puts up with the other person for a long time. It also forgets when they make the same mistake again and again. This kind of love means not having to have everything your way and it wants the best for the other person. That kind of love also does what it can to encourage them. If you practice this kind of love, you will not show how frustrated you are with your face or body language but will smile and assure them everything is alright.
Showing another person the kind of love above, God’s love, will make them feel loved. It might even change them, but that should not be your motive. Love them because it’s the right thing to do. It’s hard, but you can do it because He does it.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:7
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
1 John 4:8
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:16
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us.
3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
1 Corinthians 13:8a
8 Love never ends.
Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.