What does it mean that God's love is unconditional?
Sure, we love our family. We love our things. And we love our neighbors as long as they keep their yard mowed!
But loving another human being in the same way that God loves us is a very unique kind of love. In the hustle and bustle of life, we can easily fall short of offering this type of love to others because the world tries to wire us in the opposite direction.
How exactly can we love like God does? What does God's unconditional love look like? How do we show God's love to others?
Let's dive in and see!
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God's Unconditional Love
How do I know God loves me unconditionally? Because the Bible says so!
The Bible tells us that God's love is unconditional. He loves us no matter what! Nothing that we do or say can change how He feels about us.
As a follower of Christ, we should strive to love others like God loves us – unconditionally and without expectation in return.
The following verse of scripture pretty much sums up how we should love others in the same way that God loves us.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
So, what are the characteristics of God's unconditional love for us? And how can we embody the spirit of that love with others?
God Love Agape Love
Agape love (pronounced uh-gah-pay). Agape love defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the Divine love that is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13. It is unselfish, giving, sacrificial, unconditional love.
Agape love is the foundation from which we can truly love others the way God loves us!
God's Unconditional Love is Patient
To love like Jesus is to love with patience. God knows that we are going to make mistakes and continue to sin.
But He is patient with us as we grow stronger in our faith. He is is even patient with those who continue to sin because they don't yet know Him.
In the same way, we should be patient with others who seem to take too long to do something (according to our own definition of that time).
God's Unconditional Love is Forgiving
Have you ever heard someone say, “I can forgive you, but I'll never forget what you've done”? I don't believe that's the way Jesus wants us to let go of things.
Forgive, forget and move on. When someone has wronged you, once you have forgiven them, it needs to be eliminated from your memory and never brought up again.
God's unconditional love doesn't keep a list of wrongs and neither should you!
God's Unconditional Love Offers Grace over Judgement
Love endures wrongs, with a heart of forgiveness and grace. To love like God means to skip the judgment and remember that God gives us grace for our own shortfalls on a daily basis.
To love others with grace and compassion is to truly love others like God loves us!
God's Unconditional Love Endures All Things
It approaches every situation, afflictions, tribulations, temptations, and persecutions without complaint and with a positive attitude for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When love endures, it depicts an attitude of a heavy burden but continues on because it knows it's in the right place. In other words, I'm committed to you, regardless of the situation. We'll work it out and we're hanging in there until the end.
God is showing us how to love by enduring this hateful and sin-filled world. He has a great plan and Jesus will be victorious in the end. Every effort brings you closer to God.
Bible Verses About God's Unconditional Love
The Bible is filled with scripture about God's unconditional love for us and how we should love others.
These unconditional love Bible verses truly sum up just how much God loves us:
- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
- This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11
I mean, seriously! He gave His only son to die because He loves us so much!
- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 NIV
- Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 NIV
- But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
- See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 NIV
- For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:11-12NIV
God's Love is Unconditional, Unlimited, and Complete
There is no better or higher level of love to reach with God. There are no levels to His love.
To love others with God's uncondtional love means to replace judgement with grace. It means to love them no matter what they do or say.
We don't all naturally show the love of God. We have to practice. It's a choice!
The closer we are to God, the easier it is to practice and live in agape love. I encourage you to make the effort. Study the characteristics of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Pray for strength to love better, wiser, longer and with the goal to love like God. You will never regret it.
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