Isn’t that the same as “Grace Freely Given”


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Making new friends suggests a process.  One wherein some will be and some won’t be.  Where there is progression from not being friends to being friends.  Which suggests investment.  Of my time, my energy, my thoughtfulness, my allowing this potential friend into my life.  And investment requires a return.  Or else it is not “investment” but wasting my time – giving it away for nothing.  And we think of that as “charities” and the like.  And friends don’t like being regarded as “charitable causes”.  I know I don’t.

Too much pity attached.  Too much gratitude expected.

And when making new friends, or having a circle of friends, or the category of “friends” comes up … in the background is the opposite.  Strangers at best or enemies at worst.  Making new enemies happens as well.  And investment of time and energy.  And the return isn’t so different.  Return is now “Gotcha!”  Reward is now “I made you feel bad!”  And so – sometimes – a lifetime of spat and bile.  The flip-side of making new friends really.

Maybe all “that” gets in the way of love without condition.

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Those random moments when one life bumps into my path of living today.  When a connection without “process” happens.  When a moment of spontaneity allows both to meet and share and move on again.  Both changed by the encounter.  Both uplifted just a little.  Both not really sure why.  Both left feeling “better”.

There is no real investment in such encounters.  Other than kindness.  Other than an unconscious peeling-back of our usual mask of control and suspicion.  A taken unawares moment.  A moment when my path of living that day takes a small detour.  A detour that – when I return to my planned path of living – leaves me with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.  Without me “giving” anything at all – but getting something precious – that feeling of “Wow!”

Isn’t that the same as “Grace Freely Given” we are taught God “gives” to each of us?  That “meets us where we are and leaves us changed” we say so easily?

The more I see Love and God as One – the more I think Love Without Condition less an impossible dream – more something within my control – always my choice (or not).

Because the less I have to worry about God and “doing God right” … the more “Love Without Condition” becomes less and less a conscious choice – more and more instinctive.  A peeling back of my taught “control and suspicion”.  A peeling back of “sin and sin avoidance”.  Because all that stuff takes up too much space.  Becomes my internal “mask” that keeps me from Love Without Condition.

Which keeps me from God.

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I wonder why we prefer – in the main – to have God do things to us and us for Him.  Why we prefer God to give us “grace” freely – without considering why we don’t do the same.  Why we have all that worship and asking forgiveness (in order to be “forgiven”) when it’s a given – it’s done.

We have to learn to drop the self-pity and move past “it”.  And … something else …  All this “sin no more” … Isn’t it an easy tactic to keep sin in the way of love?

Sin no more.

It occurred to me a couple of years ago that “sin no more” might just mean: “There is no more sin” (rather than the usual “You will and you must sin – but don’t keep doing the same “sin” – please”).

Just like Grace Freely Given.  Not only the domain of good old God – but of each of us – and all the time.

Because if I now combine the two – what is left … ?

Love without Condition.

(which works for me)

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