LOVE: You Cannot Give Someone Else What You Do Not Have

You may have heard me say that perfect love flows from God to us, but not so perfect love flows from us to others. Have you ever stopped to consider why our love is not so perfect? Have you ever wanted to have more perfect love for others?

If you don’t have love inside of you, you cannot give it to someone else. If you don’t feel loved, you will have a hard time expressing it toward others. You may even feel you have a wall between you and them.

If you have not ever accepted God’s unconditional love as a reality, you may find it hard to understand. The more conditional you feel His love is toward you, the more conditional your love will tend to be toward others.

Suppose you do feel love – at least to a certain degree. Our love is not so perfect because our love tends to be conditional. We tend to only love others if they do x thing. We may love them if they are nice to us. We may love them as long as they are good people. We may love them as long as they look like us.

What happens when they don’t look like us? What happens when they are not quite so loveable? Don’t we tend to shy away from those folks?

We may not like what they look like. We may not like the way they smell. We may not like the things they do. Yet we may claim to still love them. After all, we certainly don’t want a house to fall on them, right?

Food for thought: if we loved them, we’d act like it. Do we act like it?

Perhaps we need to take a closer look at unconditional love.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:10

We love him, because he first loved us.
1Jn 4:19

Catch that? We love him because. We are such conditional creatures.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:9-12

Love was a command. Nowhere in there was it optional. This passage is obviously talking about believers. However, the Bible clearly says for us to love our neighbor. Perhaps our love is conditional because we choose to make it that way.

LIFE APPLICATION

Today’s challenge is to realize that love is a choice. If it weren’t a choice, Jesus would not have made it a command. Yes, you can choose to love others conditionally or unconditionally. You can also choose to love yourself conditionally or unconditionally. We are not perfect. Our tendency is toward conditional love.

Is there someone in your life right now that you love conditionally? Don’t you think they know that? Do you really want your parents, your spouse, your kids, or your friends to feel like they have to earn your love? I challenge you to love them without their having to earn it.

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