Growing up in life, it’s been said to us that we must love another as we love ourselves. This reality can be quite foreign to us for many reasons. We have also been told to love each other unconditionally but in reality we always find this hard. We find it hard to love unconditionally because in our lifetimes there have been times where our love has been abused or taken for granted. We then have this concept of love that society throws at us which can often confuse us.
So, what is Unconditional Love?
Ephesians 3:17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Unconditional Love is a type of love that is not based on conditions so when God decided to send his son down to earth, it’s not because of how much someone prayed, fasted or begged, it is simply that God had so much love for you.
Mark 12:32 – The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these
So looking at this passage, the real question is How do we love our neighbour?
Let’s see what love is first.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
We could also say that Love is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
John 3:16 – 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.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
As we ponder on these passages, one thing stands out to us. It is the fact that whenever Jesus wanted to show the disciples how much he loved them, he would show them which takes us back to John 15. Jesus laid down his life so he could set us free, he gave up his life so he can give us life. The reality of it will always move someone to tears which is something John alluded to in 1 John 3.
1 John 3:1-2 See what [[a]an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is
Let’s revisit what Love in 1 Corinthians and then we can have a glimpse into how we are to love our neighbours. Are we patient? Are we kind? Do we get angry quickly? Can we forget things that others do to us? Is it all about you? Do you seek things for you and you only? Can we trust people? Can we be happy for others and not be envious of them? The list is quite exhaustive in itself.
When the topic of love was floating around, I asked this – Can I love others if I don’t love myself so do I get angry at myself for every little thing, do I protect myself, am I patient with myself and so on. I believe that you can grow in love everyday and that only comes when your foundation is God because of the fact that God is Love.
1 John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.…
When you love God and know God, only then will you know how to love others.
I pray that this blesses you today. Be safe and secure in the knowledge that God loves you. You can’t earn it and you can lose it. Be free and start loving yourself and others today.