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Love without Conditions

It’s February, commonly referred to as the Love Month. Dinner dates, chocolates, roses, red hearts easily come to mind. Lest we fall into the trap of limiting love into the romantic arena, we hope to deeply reflect on important aspects of the kind of love we all are in search of.

We want a love that is permanent and faithful. We yearn for one that will draw out the best in us. We might find ourselves looking for it in the wrong places, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to probe our hearts, He will lead us to the only kind of love that could truly complete us. St. Augustine says, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Disconnected from God, there will always be something lacking in us.    

God’s love is sacrificial: “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many”(Matthew 20:28). A deeply moving term used by some is Calvary love. After all, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). His is redemptive love. It seeks our salvation, wholeness and holiness.

No matter how we look, how others treat us, whatever we have done, no matter how much we have sinned, the fact is that nothing can ever alter how profoundly loved we are by God. This unchanging Truth becomes the basis of our identity. 

His love being unconditional does not mean we have the license to do anything we want. Our sins have consequences and we are the very first ones who block the flow of God’s blessings in our lives if we were to disobey Him. Our docility to His will helps us enjoy the fullness of life He offers us.    

In accompanying people in the journey toward wholeness, I have seen that the unconditional love of God heals because the wounded person feels God accepts him as He is. When the person has a real-life experience of this, it becomes more natural to open up to His graces of being loved and forgiven, and also of giving pardon to others. 

The so-called love that the world often refers to is one that uses people, seeks its own convenience, and offers false promises. Many people mistake lust for love, or simply liking for loving.

The love of God is aptly described in these verses, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7). 

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