Do you know there is nothing you can do or say that will make God love you more or less? His love is a perfect constant. He loves us more than we can imagine, and it has nothing to do with how we act towards Him. He made us and wants nothing more than to simply be loved in return. He gave us the option, free will, so that if we choose to love Him back, it is a genuine love.
If we do love Him, then we are also to love others with the same attitude that He loves us with. We could never fully love as He does; we simply strive to do our best. We often fail; I know I do, but God’s love never does. He is always there to forgive us our shortcomings and promises to give us the strength to try again.
Last week, I wrote that we need to end the cycle of compromise. I believe that starts with love. There are people leaving great congregations, and children who turn their backs on the teachings of their godly, Christian parents. Sometimes, that cycle happens no matter what example is set. If we are to stay strong and not compromise, then we are to love these individuals as God loves them. We need to look past the sin, the bad choices and the prodigal lifestyle and love without conditions.
Often we are tempted to judge, and when we do, we end up pushing away the person we are trying to draw in. I love Jesus’ reaction to the woman caught in adultery in John 8. When He, the only one with the right to judge, looks at the women and says “then neither do I condemn you,” … “Go now and leave your life of sin” God’s perfect love is on display.
Another one of my favorite examples of God’s perfect love is in John 3: 16-17 – you probably know John 3:16 – or at the very least have seen it on signs being waved at sporting events, but recently I have been drawn to the truth in verse 17 – that God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save it. God wasn’t looking to find fault, but to show love.
The world is full of temptations, and many times, we fall victim to them without evening knowing it -much less on purpose. We humans often base a decision on how fun, convenient or easy it is, and it can lead to one bad choice after another. If we look with judgemental eyes on those who need help finding the right path again, we are doing more harm than good. If we can look past the actions and see the person as God does, we allow God’s love to flow through us, and, if we are lucky, God will use us to help bring His child back to Him.
God’s love is a constant, and our example should be to love as He loves. No matter the choices being made by people around us, loving them unconditionally is the example that God gave us in His son, Jesus. This doesn’t mean we compromise our values or accept the sin; it means we accept the sinner (because, for starters, we all fall into that category) and love them with the love of Christ.