Friday, October 25, 2013

Unconditional Love

Sometimes people are frustrating.  People, even people that you thought were your friends, just don't always respond the way you want them to.  They do something that just makes no sense to you, or maybe they just run away.  Maybe they told you they were going to do something for you and just never do.  Maybe they are too busy and just don't have time for you.  Whatever the case may be:  you feel hurt.  Confused.  Disappointed.

Sometimes you start to wonder... is this worth it?  Why would I want these people in my life if they just do stuff like this.  Well, the truth of it is:  you're about to put a condition on being friends with them.  You're loving them conditionally.  "As long as they don't do X again, we're cool."  Aren't we supposed to love unconditionally?  What's that even look like?

It means looking out for their interests first.  It means at times loving people in spite of themselves, instead of because they are doing something lovable.  Do they need some space?  Fine, give them space.  Do they just need to vent?  Let them vent.  Are they about to do something stupid?  Do your best to stop them, but don't give up if they don't listen.

In fact, don't be at all concerned with what you are feeling.  Let God give you the strength to persevere.  He will give you everything you need to help.  Instead of being offended by what they are doing, try to ask questions and see the deeper reason why they did that.  And then if there is some deeper issue, try to help them resolve that.  Put your focus on helping them and you won't have room for your own feelings of insecurity anymore.

There's another part to this as well.  It's still important to let people know if they are hurting you somehow.  But here's something I learned from one of my friends a long time ago:  Just tell them once.  And move on.  If they listen, great.  If not, well, you did what you could.  You planted a seed, hopefully it will grow one day.  But don't bring it back up.  Forgive them.  Help them work through it.  Help them be the best they can be.

Loving people is hard sometimes.  But as you learn to refocus on God and neighbor instead of yourself, you get new strength from it.  You start to see the world through God's eyes a little bit.  See what's really important.  You realize that just doing what you can really is enough.  You don't need to be burdened by that anymore.  Love people the best you can, God will take care of the rest.  And He will help you continue to grow and fill your life with even an greater love.

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