On my last blog I talked about where we receive our concept of God, and listed several things that could shape our picture of Him. This time I’d like to describe one facet of God. I’m basing this blog on the Bible, which I believe to be God’s Word.
The overwhelming thing about God is that He is love (see 1 John 4:8). And this one attribute encompasses everything else that we can know about Him.
Has anyone ever loved you unconditionally? Someone who did not leave the relationship, but stick by you, even if if things were tough, or they didn’t agree with everything you did? I hope you’ve had that kind of experience on a human level. You certainly have it with God, even though you may not have seen or felt it.
God’s unconditional love holds onto you no matter where you are, no matter what you do, even if He doesn’t approve of your actions – or thoughts. He doesn’t let go of you. That’s something many have not understood. They tend to look at God’s judgment and feel that He won’t love them if they do “this” or “that”. But that’s not true. God’s love doesn’t stop just because of something you do. He loves ALL His created beings. All the time.
God’s love desires the very best for you. He created you with a mind to develop, and good desires and interests that He wants you to grow. He desires that you have a loving family, great friends, and that you be happy in your work.
But unconditional love isn’t all fuzzy-wuzzies.
It also means that the person who loves you, loves you enough to tell you when you’re about to do something that wouldn’t be good for you. If you were going to walk into a crucial business meeting with gravy down the front of your shirt, wouldn’t you appreciate a friend who cares enough to take you aside and tell you? Even if you knew it would embarrass you to know that you had been walking around like that? Sure, you would. Better to come from a friend than to know you had humiliated yourself among strangers. God does this, too. He gives us guidance and guidelines through His Word to protect us from ourselves.
Unconditional love will also try to stop you from hurting yourself, sometimes through toughness and doing what doesn’t feel good to the recipient.
Most people have heard of the “interventions” that are done by families to alcoholic family members. Betty Ford’s family loved her ENOUGH to confront her problem head on, and thus gained her recovery and probably her life. (See http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=39). While she was terribly angry at first, she has become very grateful for that pain.
God also sometimes has to let us go through some painful circumstances, but ONLY for our ultimate good. We often don’t see the “why’s” of a situation, but God sometimes rescues us through a painful circumstance, just as Betty Ford was rescued through one.
Your Turn: I’d love to hear how God’s love has been real to you in your life’s journey. Please share!