My unconditional love is very conditional – The Sequel


I keep re-reading this post and thinking “I wish I could say this in a way which makes sense to others.” Because I have a sense my words are cryptic (posh word for “confusing”) to one not inside my head and heart.

And I keep seeing one HUGE omission as to why this was a BIG moment for me.

If I extend my hand of friendship to the un-churched and un-saved with unwitting self-endorsement – then even before I extend my hand – I am already holding back.  Even before I am holding myself in reserve. Even before I am saying one thing and “vibing” another.

Because if my “love” for others (unwittingly) requires me to “self-endorse” the very act of choosing whether or not to extend that “love” – am I sincere or false?  Because if I have chosen whether to be real, then I am choosing a public mask to hide a private face.  And I have to, therefore, present God as that – I cannot do anything other – I will extend (or not) the hand of “love” whilst wearing a mask. So I must present God as wearing a mask (of judgment) as well.

So I misrepresent God.  Because if I didn’t …

Then “LGBT” or “race” or “unsaved” or “unchurched” or “dress code” or “qualification” or “maturity in the faith” or “Christian tradition” or “attendance” or even “inter-faith” and deffo “inter-denomination” – all those “real life faith issues” would not be a real life faith issue at all.  But the very fact they are – and the very fact they are debated endlessly – means we ARE choosing – which means we ARE presenting a mask – which means we ARE misrepresenting God – and (forget about anyone else) that means we ARE doing THAT to ourselves most of all.

And to reiterate a bit from this morning: 
“And whenever I hear my God speak like this, I am always asked the question: “Is This Biblically and Scripturally Correct?”  Well reading today’s verses I notice two words: “Jesus said“.  I never see GSHJ measuring how much is enough.  I never see God (or Jesus or The Holy Spirit) ever looking for “endorsement”.  And I never – EVER – see GSHJ being confused about my subtle difference between “endorsement” and “love”.  So when I do – when we do – just how can I/we ever be biblically and scripturally correct?”

We so often “self-image God” in our own “endorsed selfie image” – and then live that day after day – and seek to convince others to live that way – and (in the process) make God no more than that “endorsed selfie image” for others.  That is why this was such a HUGE moment this morning.

Do I misrepresent God?

Do I expect to reap – as well as sow – as well as serve – as well as take my place at the bottom of the table – as well as expect not to be invited at all – as well as expect to reap – as well as not?  How does all that work in a simple brain and heart like mine?  Or do I just hear my God speaking in me and others?

Do I misrepresent God?

Do I begin without a care in the world, and then find myself with all the cares in the world? Do I begin with the joy of being saved, and then soon wonder what that actually means in my daily life? Do I begin to fulfil other’s expectations – to fulfil my own expectations other seem to have of me – to find fault – to find reason to complain – to find burden – sacrifice – duty – obligation?  Or do I just hear my God speaking in me and others?

Do I just hear my God speaking in me and others?  And when that simplicity is no longer enough …  is THAT how I misrepresent God?

Because how soon do I move from “freedom in the Lord” to the subtle bondage of “endorsed self-image selfies”?  How soon do I evolve my inner measuring board?  How soon does my action revolve around meeting the approval of others?  And how soon is it before I advise others on their own selfies?  And how soon before we maintain this “self-endorsement-fest” that we have grown to know and love – that now we love to call “love” itself – as we gather together in fellowship?

If that isn’t a BIGGIE – I don’t know what is.

So I would love to hear your views and thoughts (even if I have confused you more than before)! 

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5 thoughts on “My unconditional love is very conditional – The Sequel

  1. Paul, just read this and the previous post (BTW, the link in the first sentence goes to a stats page which includes MY stats – weird) and one thing struck me: “And when something BIG happens, I find myself running back to GSHJ asking ‘Am I seeing right?'” and “Is This Biblically and Scripturally Correct?”

    I believe (and I am certain there is Scriptural reference) because we love God so much, really love Him down to our core, we are earnest in our desire to shine His light, not ours. And when we speak with Him and ask these questions, I believe He answers us BECAUSE we ask. I believe this is the asking and receiving Jesus talked about (Matthew 7:7). Not about stuff and money and fame, but really about knowing Him.

    Frankly, I don’t think there are many people who ask these questions of Him. I think most assume they understand the “laws” and that’s enough; don’t have a desire to grow in understanding, don’t get the Bible contains His Living Words and don’t wish to mature in faith because they’re find just the way they are thank-you-very-much.

    The thing is, the more we ask, the more we know Him, the deeper our love grows for Him, the more we ache to share Him with others. How can we not?

    • Hiya Susan – and firstly – thank you! Fixed the link (it took a few attempts which is odd).

      And then your comments …

      I was going to extract a line – but your “post” is too god to pull out just one piece. The asking and receiving is profound! Never seen it in a crisp and concise way like that! The knowing – the really knowing – so often I think everyone does this – and so why is so much of this stuff confusing? Your words ground me in that one as well. And your final question: “how can we not?” – the more we ache to share the more He will allow. WOW!! The more we ache to share the more HE will our way. The more we ache to love the more He will allow us to “love”. The more WE (or me or you or each if us one at a time) – the more HE …

      Which makes sense of a lot of confusion locally right now. Like “the magic” happening and why? Like too many God-incidences – and why? Like these posts and stuff and more stuff …

      Thank you. You spoke God to a few questions I was asking right now in this moment! (((hugs)))

  2. I hear you, bro. 🙂 What God has been doing with me over the last several years is showing me how conditional and narrowly-defined my love is. It’s been very freeing, but at the same time, I’m horrified by how I’ve treated people who weren’t “me.”

    • Very honest as always Mel, thank you. And more universal than any of really like admitting I think. There should be more admissions (on all sides) like this – that would be something wonderful!

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