When You Don't Feel Unconditionally Loved
Can I Be Loved Without Condition?
Howdy! Thanks for checking out The Hope Coach! If you’ve read any of my writings or been to one of my live events, you’ve heard me declare over and over that you’re unbelievably and unconditionally loved by God, your Creator. I know this is a difficult idea for a some people to comprehend, so I thought I’d dive into this interesting topic a bit. Cool?
I view God as the great flow of love through all of creation—from which we came, in which we exist, and to which we are going. You might use different words to describe that process (I sure have)…that’s fine by me! In response, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, usually a bit later, when fewer people are around, “But Mark, I don’t feel unconditionally loved.”
What Does It Mean to Be Unconditionally Loved?
Unconditional literally means without conditions. It’s a love that says “no matter what, I’m going to keep loving you.” It’s a love that never says, “I love you…but…” (like I described in last week’s post).
I love the beautiful theology of Billy Joel when he wrote:
Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have someone sing those lyrics to you? Yes, it would!
I learned as a kid that “God is love”—literally, the character and essence of God is love. I am convinced that God loves you and me with unconditional love—a love so full of joy and fondness that literally nothing can change it. That’s what Paul (one of the chief architects of Christianity) said in Romans 8:38-39. (sidenote: Just because I’m convinced of it, doesn’t mean I don’t forget it from time to time!)
God’s love is a fear-destroying, freedom-inducing gift that is continually being offered to us—in fact, we’re surrounded by it. We have an opportunity to live into this love…as I like to say, “live being fueled by this love”…or not.
When we live fueled by love, we are literally vessels of God’s love to the world around us. We offer life, light, and love to each person we meet. We uncover how we are each connected in a common love. My Christianity is based on the life of Jesus as the blueprint for best how to be messengers of God’s love to the world.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
If we choose to not live fueled by love, we become fearful, stingy, selfless, mean, impatient, tribalistic, etc. I could probably list the 7 Deadly Sins here, too, right? Sin is a great word to describe living in a way that rejects love, and instead puts selfishness and destruction first.
No matter what choice we make, God’s love for us doesn’t change. Which is great news since being humans entails all of it. From Love-Giver to Life-Destroyer, I constantly choose between these two ways of living life, including everything in between. Life isn’t about getting it right and never being wrong again. It’s about which direction you’re choosing to face.
I want to keep aiming for making choices that will afford me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Decisions that let me feel connected to God and others, rather than separated. I believe that’s God’s will for me, too. When I follow God’s wisdom, this connectedness seems to happen.
I hope this is encouraging to you.
In the next post I want to talk about Why we don’t necessarily feel unconditional love. It’s difficult when many of us haven’t ever experienced unconditional love to suddenly believe it to be true. And then, How can we feel it? I hope to offer some practical ideas to help you understand how loved you are.
I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts about this post!!!
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