One is always apprehensive when you receive a note which begins, “I recently heard you speak…” I received such a note this week regarding my talk last Sunday. However, I need not have had any apprehension. The writer said among other things, “…enjoyed your message, realizing that without God’s love to really fill us to overflowing, nothing else will matter. The suffering people in your stories didn’t have programs and self-help books or even scriptures (often) to make a difference in their world but they had something we in the prosperous west have so little of: unconditional love. I am humbled and challenged; all I can do is ask God to reveal that kind of a love and pour it out…”
It is right. We in the west are so bent out of shape by the world in which we live and by our society which concentrates on satisfying self, that such love rarely comes to mind. We naturally find it hard to think otherwise because our world revolves around us.
Is it really possible for us to love unconditionally? Well,St Paul tells us that if we are followers of Jesus, then God has already “poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” The word poured here means to “pour out to overflowing,” indicating something which cannot be contained. Therefore, it is not us who are doing the loving but it is God loving through us. God’s love for us was unconditional. Should we not aspire for the same?
In my 20 years of travelling inEastern Europe I discovered Christians there who would give you the last of their food. They would give you their bed while they slept on the floor. They would even go out and spend what little money they had to ensure they had a small gift to give to their guest. Such was their heart. In their lives other people literally came first. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said that we were to love God with everything we have and then love our neighbour as ourselves. But how many of us do that? It is difficult but it is our calling and if Christians do not love unconditionally, then who will?
Afterthought! If you can identify with this and feel the same, would you please share it, as well as like it, because I think the message is important enough that we need to pass it on to as many people as possible.