UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Dez 12

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

It’s written on t-shirts. It’s sung and mentioned in stories. It’s not a new couple of words I hadn’t seen put together many times before. And yet, it just crushed me the other day when I saw it somewhere… Or heard… I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember the waves of thoughts it caused in my head as if a plane had crashed in still waters.

I think it all happened because I had been struggling with forgiving a few people who had wronged me in the past. In special those who I expected a minimum of maturity, respect or even some decency and had instead acted in the most reprovable way. But I wanted to forgive. I wanted, above all, to forget and move on, have peace.

My husband and I have chosen to walk in love and to make love our lifestyle and love goes hand in hand with forgiveness, with grace. Yeah, grace. That undeserved favor, remember? UNDESERVED. I want to talk a bit more about “this deserving matter”…

You see, grace has more to do with the person who gives it than the person who receives it. It happens because of a decision the giver makes. The same applies to unconditional love. As the meaning of this word implies that there are no conditions, no strings attached. You love. (“period”).I believe what most of us experience is CONDITIONAL love. We love IF the person loves us back. We love IF the context is something we are ok with.

Talking to a friend the other day about divorce (which, among others, is a topic I have to write about one day…), we discussed the matter of the “hard heart” – reason why the divorce was allowed as Jesus himself explained. In my understanding, that means if we loved enough, there wouldn’t be any divorces. Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that people wouldn’t make mistakes, the topic there is not holiness, it is love. The Bible also says that love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) In other words, people making mistakes (sins) is not an excuse not to love and unconditional love is exactly that, no matter what happens, no matter what people do, we love them. But before this text becomes about divorce, and before someone uses this to justify abuse, let me just say that, from my experience, the people who usually quote those Bible references are the people who do not love. The abusers use that to keep the people who actually love them under their dominium. So I’ll finish this paragraph with another Bible verse to refute that sick idea. “It is for freedom that Christ had set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

I know there would be selfish people using this one as well to justify their lack of love and I think that’s precisely the issue of the hard heart Jesus was talking about. As I said, it is not my intention here to go deeper in the matter of divorce, because love is bigger than that. I think the best picture I could use to illustrate unconditional love, something we are more familiar with, is a mother’s love for that messed up, drug addicted, criminal son. How she will always look at him and see the baby she carried in her arms. No matter how degenerated he becomes, she will always think of him as her precious boy and will always believe and hope things will change. She will not buy him drugs. No. She won’t encourage him in things that destroy him. But she will visit him in jail. She will pray for him every day and every night. THAT is unconditional love.

I’m sure you get it. I know you’ve probably seen it or heard of it. The problem is how to live it out. And as it is not my intention to write about unconditional love to bring guilt and heaviness to anyone, here is the way out. “We love because He (God) first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) It is only possible to love because God started this loving process in our lives by loving us first. And in Romans 5:8 it is written “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” THAT is unconditional love .He loved us before we loved Him, before we were any “lovable”, when we did not deserve, when we were choosing sin instead of Him, when we were hurting His heart.  Because He, who is perfect, loved us, because of that gigantic contrast between who we are and who He is, we can love one another (the contrast is smaller in this second one, don’t you think?).

It all still sounds very religious and impossible to accomplish, doesn’t it? I believe our biggest problem isn’t believing all this but putting into practice. Well… Let me tell you what I have been doing. I’ve been constantly reminding myself that Jesus died for those people I find difficult to love. Just thinking about it already takes the ground from under my feet and makes me realize we are not that different. From there, I go to the Lord’s prayer and remember I will be forgiven as I forgive, because if GOD could forgive ME, than I shouldn’t do any less than everything I can to forgive the people who hurt me. If I can’t do it, than I might as well embrace my own crap, wait for hell to swallow me and as I wait, change my name to “Hypocrite Massuia Weinfurter”. Well, I don’t know about you but I have no intentions on spending eternity in hell and I prefer “Miriam” to “Hypocrite” (it sounds better, you know… ). And I can tell you this, the more I let go of my pain and my fears, the more I choose love, the freer and happier I am. Unconditional love is simple, but the path to get there is quite long because of our selfishness. So… The sooner we start walking, the faster we will get to our destination. I’m sure what you want for your life does not include being stuck, angry, lonely, troubled by memories of what people did to you, right? So… I’d say… Let’s start walking?

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