A Love that works

Love has been on my mind a lot lately. I feel like it’s something I don’t do that well. I feel like I put too many limitation and conditions on loving people. As a Christian I’m given the responsibility to be an ambassador for Jesus, so I should love like He does. It’s really hard to do that though, impossible actually. Without Jesus it is impossible to love without limitations or conditions. I’m selfish a lot of the time and I want things to be even, I want people to behave a certain way before I love them, I want people to earn my love. How arrogant of me to expect something God Himself doesn’t. His love flows endlessly and without condition, so why shouldn’t mine?

Just a random side note. A loving God, and an eternal hell do both exist. God doesn’t send bad people to hell, otherwise we would all go there. God gives unrepentant people an eternity of what they spent their entire lives wanting, to be away from Him and have nothing to do with Him. When you’re in a place completely lacking the presence of God, you’re in a place completely lacking everything that is good. All joy, hope, peace, love, courage, patience, all of it. I get the impression from the bible that eternity is a magnified version of  your life. If your life was spent trying to serve and worship God to the best of your ability, your eternity will be spent serving and worshiping in His joy. If your life was spent seeking after empty selfishness and wandering without God, your eternity will be spent in empty selfishness without God. It also seems like it will be hot and fiery as well. Jesus doesn’t do anything without love.

Now, the kind of love I see in the bible is weird. It is unconditional, but intentional. It’s not a hippie love of total acceptance. It’s a stern love that will protect, correct, and never end. Jesus’s love seeks the eternal glory of God first then the salvation and care of others, not selfish ambitions. His love is self-sacrificing, self giving, God and people centered. His love cannot be broken, does not quit, and has no prerequisites. That’s the type of love that changes lives, that’s the type of love that wins hearts, that’s that type of love I want to demonstrate as a Christian. The strongest thing I have as a Christian, the most powerful testimony I can make with my life, the greatest thing I can do to make a Christ-like example is to suffer the selfishness of others, the sting of unjust anger, the belittling of other’s pride, the drain of people’s impatience, and the injustice of the world while always loving unconditionally. Jesus tells us to give our cloke to anyone that takes our coat. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it well, “At this point it becomes evident that when a Christian meets with injustice, he no longer clings to his rights and defends them at all costs. He is absolutely free from possessions and bound to Christ alone”. Jesus’s love is all I need, Christ’s love is all I want, and I don’t believe He intended us to depend on anything else. Being a Christian doesn’t work any other way. Jesus’s love works. Both in the sense that it functions properly and that it requires an intentional effort.