Posts Tagged ‘unconditional love’

Not as the world gives power, but as God gives power, what do I get? More paradox. We are brought up in a world of Donald Trumps where power means control, self-aggrandizement, immediacy, and ambition. But Christ modeled something else.

Ephesians 3:20, 4:2
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, . . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

It’s not as though Jesus couldn’t do dynamic things. He had enough power to do it all. Instead, much of that power was channeled toward a more difficult task: humility and gentleness, patience and loving others unconditionally (with forgiveness–a mark of unconditional love).

We tend to be wired for self-protection. We say, “If I don’t take care of myself, who will?” or “I don’t want to become a door mat” or “How long must I wait?” We keep putting ourselves in the center of our universe.

When it took two years to adopt our daughter, I kept pounding on God’s door asking why it was taking so long and how unfair it was and what had we done wrong? Finally, through a friend, I heard these words: “What makes you think this delay is about you?”

To practice the acts of humility and patience and truly loving, is “other” oriented. It’s passing power to them. It’s letting the overflowing water get others wet. Power is energy and cannot be efficiently constrained. But how amazing, that this energy is passed along through release and not the exertion of force.

Help me get this today. Help me practice opening my hands and heart, releasing the power of the Holy Spirit.

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These dimensions are what we use to understand our world. Anything outside of them is “spirit” or thoughts or feelings: wind. Scripture implies that unconditional love gives us our only true glimpse or foretaste of God. Except for Christ, who entered our dimensions to show us the the way beyond.

Ephesians 3:17b-18
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, . . .

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One thing that Jesus had going that Paul did not: lack of expectations. In these verses, I hear Paul’s own disappointment and frustration. “What more can I do for you?” He’s human. . . just like me.

II Corinthians 6:11-13
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.

How many women get frustrated at their children and mates for a lack of appreciation of the sacrifices? Periodically there are rather humorous stories of women going on strike to “wake up” their families. “Look what I’m doing here!!!!” Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Relationships often suffer from these inequalities.

Unfortunately, love has no such guarantees. We can do and love and serve but we cannot limit our doing and loving and serving to the degree of reciprocity. We’ll always be disappointed.

Oh, if I could really get this truth into my heart. If I could stop looking out for evidence of their love for me. It’s not my job to measure. Help me this day to love without fear.

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