Unconditional love is so very rare, and yet, it is the love God loves us with. It’s the love He calls us to love others with too.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. (Romans 12:9, NLT)
To really love someone means to love them with no expectations, no strings attached. This is the love modeled to us by Jesus on the cross. He loved sacrificially, giving His all for us.
This is how He calls us to love.
We don’t often think of it this way, but if we aren’t careful, we can actually “pretend” to love others.
What does it mean to “pretend” to love someone?
Sometimes our actions of love are clouded by the response we want to receive. For example, maybe we find ourselves doing something extra nice for someone we love. However, it’s not noticed or even mentioned. This might cause us to feel disappointed or even frustrated.
“Didn’t they see what I did? Where is my thanks?”
When this happens, we need to take a minute and consider what our true motivation was for doing what we did. If we were only looking to love and serve them, the response would not matter. Go ahead and read that sentence again.
However, what this example reminds us is too often, we love and serve others for the response we hope, or even expect, to receive.
It’s “pretending” to love the other person unconditionally because our feelings of disappointment and frustration point out to us that we were also doing it for ourselves. We want to feel good about ourselves. We want to be noticed and valued by the other person.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I agree. It’s wonderful to be recognized, to be celebrated, and to be loved in return. However, it’s not needed, nor should it be expected, when we seek to love as Jesus loves.
Everything we need is found in the love of Jesus for us. He loves you. You matter to Him, so much so He gave His life for you. His love transforms you, which allows you to really love others, without needing or expecting anything in return.
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