A sweet friend of mine posted something on Facebook the other day that made me take a pause. She stated that she loves me without conditions. If anyone is capable of that, she would be on my list of top 5 humans who could love in such a way!
That was a profound statement and it got me thinking about how much we throw the words “love you” around these days without batting an eye. Most of us understand if we want to truly measure our love for another we can do that by lining it up with 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Amplified (AMP)
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
That’s a pretty tall order! I know I have failed miserably at this often and yet sometimes I have risen above even my own expectations (much to my surprise) of having unconditional love for others. I believe this type of love is referred to as Agape. The compelling truth.org says this:
Agape love is a little different. It is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. We are called to agape love through Christ’s example: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2.
The Word says that our love for one another will be evidence of Christ at work in our lives and Matthew 24:12 says, “With increased lawlessness in the end times, concern and caring for others will fade.”
Now more than ever before, we have a choice to display agape love or to display love with limits and conditions to those around us (regardless of their salvation status). Pray and daily ask God to show you how to love others with agape love (without conditions) and I know He will begin to answer that prayer. He has in my own life as I began to pray that prayer in earnest about 3 years ago. I am also sure that He will continue to strip away anything He has not made that causes me to have conditions on my love.
How about you? Have you arrived? Do you love others’ without conditions?