Dear Andrew Blair prompted a thought.
What is loving unconditionally? His comment was that loving without condition is very hard to do. It is a sentiment I have been told many times. Along with sin which means we never can … only God loves without condition … because we born to sin our love is less than God’s …
So many reasons (excuses?) to set the bar low, to find reason for failing before we fail, to find reason for the sin of not loving without condition because we are born to sin, etc, etc.
I forget how many kinds of “love” there are in the original. Four I think – or if a different “original” it may be more. An intellectual and theologically approved (and examined/graded) concept now fact. Us mere born to sin humans creating a process and self-grading marking system all in the name of “love”.
How is it that we worship this “Giver of Love” whilst at the same time taking the Creator our own creation – refined, perfected, evolved, and worshipped: here is why we never will. Yet “with God all things are possible”.
Until it comes to love.
How is it that I was taught – still am – that love without condition is unattainable for me, made in God’s likeness … forgiven for sins not even yet committed … me for whom Jesus died on a knobbly rough-hewn cross … all the stuff the institution of church has made law …
How is it that this institution of church honours its own creation above the Creator it worships and teaches me to worship? Which teaches me that only this Creator can save me from myself. And yet teaches me that I never can – never ever can – never ever ever ever can – love.
Kindness is love without condition. Altruism is love without condition. Gentleness is love without condition. Love is love without condition. We all love without condition all the time. It’s just that we are different – not love. In this moment I need something different to a moment three weeks from now. We all do. All of us. And love adapts, love knows, love delivers as our needs change.
The church calls it “God meeting us where we are”. And we can and do the same. All the time. Each of us. In our own lives. Seven days a week. Every week.
I cannot “do” love without condition if it is to a church devised-imposed-evolved process of marking and grading. As a ”churched” of many years I tried. I cannot “do” love without condition if I excuse myself because of sin making it impossible for me to love without condition. Tried that too. And yet this what the church continues teaching as biblically correct.
I Am. Love. Or I Am. Not Love.
Forget the rest. Forget the intellectual – the academic – the graded and certified – the four or more “conditional” types of love (excuses). How does that comes above I Am Love?
Because if I Am – then I am – nothing else needed.
What else had the bible taught me? That just as the widow’s mite was – is – everything, so too love – no matter what I call it, now matter how I grade it, no matter how fleeting or abundant. Love is Love or is not. And the more I intellectualise it, dissect it, regulate it, examine it, make it law, ask forgiveness for not doing it enough … then I have missed the point completely and enthusiastically. I am of false teaching and not of love (something else to be found in the bible).
Love is or love is not. Just as I am or I am not.
That is why, for me, love without condition is or is not. And that takes all the pressure off me to ”do it” enough or not enough. Sin is irrelevant. The law is a red-herring. My ”widow’s mite” is enough. God says.