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Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Commitment and Cost of Unconditional Love

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is a thing that is only best exemplified in God. Human beings may aspire to unconditional love, and certainly parents — in most cases — find it inherent in their love for their children.
But there is a commitment and a cost borne to it. It cannot be unconditional otherwise. The closest we may bear this love is through the “love of the Spirit,” which the apostle Paul talks about in Romans 15:30 and Colossians 1:8. This is an unusual love that is inherently committed to the point of patiently enduring its costliness. What makes it genuine and able to withstand the tests of life is the Spirit — the fruit of the Spirit is love.
Genuine love is unconditional as it is unconditional to love genuinely. Such a love transcends emotion. It is imbued by unwavering attitude and courageous action.
But, whatever is unconditional is beyond our control. Such a commitment will cost.
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Love will cost us if it’s real. And love can only be real if it’s unconditional. It is easy to advocate the rights of a minority and believe that love wins, but can that love spend itself as love over all minorities equally? Remember love is costly.
We will not get our own way if we love.
Love ought to be closely associated with the concept of sacrifice.
Of course, love’s greatest sacrifice is loss. We definitely do not get our own way in loss, but we experience loss because we love. Loss is love’s chief lesson. What we love in this world we will ultimately lose. But the true things of love are eternal.
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We cannot join a movement by the name of Love and be selective in our expression.
If we genuinely love — unconditionally — we will find ourselves moving into costly territory.
Unconditional love will challenge our pride. It will challenge our desires. It will force us to review and reconfigure how we interact with certain people. Those we find it hard not to despise. Those we find it impossible to like.
Consider these costs. The sort of love expressed by the Father in giving his own Son. The sort of love expressed in the Son giving up his own life. The sort of love expressed in the Father giving us the Spirit of his Son. These three expressions of love are illustrative of love’s costly power. These are commitments transcend any force for hatred.
We cannot express hate and say we love.
Love requires us to love even, and especially, when it hurts us.
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Genuine love is unconditional, as it can only be without condition that we love genuinely.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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