There are some things we do because we want some form of compensation in return.
Like going to a job in order to get a paycheck.
Or going to the gym in order to grow stronger or slimmer, or both.
But when it comes to loving others, our motive should not be that of somebody in a contract.
If we tell ourselves that we’ll love somebody if they love us first — and not until then — is that really love?
If he or she have to do something for us first before we’ll “love” them, then that makes love conditional.
That turns it into a contract with stipulations.
That’s not godly love.
God loved us and paid the price for our sins before we even acknowledged He existed.
God’s love is not conditional.
Salvation is, of course.
But not God’s love.
He loved us before we did anything for Him.
And He still does.
As God’s love demonstrates for us, our love for others should not be conditional.
Whether someone adores us or abhors us, our love for them should be the same.
Of course, we’ll respond differently to them based on their view toward us, but our prayerful concern for their souls and their overall well-being should be the same.
How can we have the Christian character and emotional strength to love people who clearly do not love us?
By reading and remembering this verse, that’s how.
“We love each other because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19)
When you’re struggling with the conflict of emotions and faith because somebody is attacking or diminishing you, remember that job #1 is to love that person, regardless of his or her merit. Pray for him or her. We don’t have to enable the attacks by not refuting falsehood, but we do have make sure that our words and actions are seasoned with grace and that love for the other person is evident to God when He hears our words.
It’s not about what people deserve from us.
It’s about what God deserves from us.
And that is surrendered love.
As always, I love you