After all, what is it that every individual longs for, the things in fact that he believes are his deserved right?
- He wants to be understood
- He wants to be loved
- He wants to have something he can trust
Unconditional love, in its purest form, is a willingness to love without being understood. I was thinking about how that desire to be understood is something every single one of us shares, and I had to wonder is there is a single person who is understood. Unconditional love wipes out the what if's--what if I am not understood? What is my love is not returned. What if it's misinterpreted and abused? It was both anguish and comfort to my heart to read John 13 and see that Christ was not understood. Seated in the center of his dearest friends, his most intimate followers, he spoke, but they didn't have a clue what he was saying.
And yet He loved them, knowing they would not-could not understand his love, knowing they could never return his love. That's unconditional.
Steadfast love, in its truest sense, is the determination to love without being loved in return. It's the reciprocation of love that makes love easy that makes it continue indefinitely. But to be steadfast in a love that is not shared? We love the socially accepted, yet He loved the Samaritan. We love those who treat us kindly, yet He loved the Roman soldier. We don't love that way.
And yet he did. In thousands of examples, he loved the very people who despised Him. He continues to. That's steadfast.
Sacrificial love, at its highest point, is a purposeful decision to love someone you do not trust. It has to be a conscious decision; it certainly does not come naturally. I'm trying to think if there is someone who I can say I love even though I do not trust. I don't know if I want to be that honest here. I can tolerate people I don't trust. I can avoid them. I can work along side them, keeping my heart distant. But love them?
And yet, my Jesus did. Knowing he would be rejected, denied, and betrayed, he loved them. That's sacrificial.
I wish I could understand His love so that I would know how to love others. I wish I could understand so that I would know how to love Him.