A Big Life – Unconditional Love
If you want to love the way the greats loved, if you want your life to be characterized by love in a way that reflects the heart of God to everyone you meet, then pay attention to how you respond to people who make you uncomfortable. You know… the ones who are different from you in significant ways, the ones you don’t like, don’t understand, and don’t enjoy. The people who hold different beliefs, practice different lifestyles and hold distinctly different priorities from your own.
As painful as relationships can sometimes be, we are relational beings, created to serve and live in community. We’re called to be love at all times; and life often strengthens our love through those around us; relationships are the lifeblood.
While there are many different dimensions to love, I believe the ability to love unconditionally is the one that most characterizes the spacious, abundant life we all deserve. I suspect this willingness to love others unconditionally and its regular practice are significantly missing from many peoples’ lives. We say we want to love others just as God loves us, love they neighbor, but too often we end up choosing comfort and convenience over compassion.
Unconditional love for all people, when we live in this space, we often find God in the midst of places and situations where we least expect it – on the street corners and in alleyways, in hospitals and prisons, orphanages and courtrooms.
Yet, the love required to love those who are different from us will always be supernatural.
What frames the tone of your life? How often do you stretch beyond your comfort zone to reach out to people with whom you disagree? The ability to enjoy a big, spacious, open-hearted life is directly proportional to your ability to love everyone, especially those who are different from you. Remember – everywhere you find people, you will also find God. Be challenged today to live outside of yourself. Stop and give time to people you may not normally associate with, be aware of your surroundings and of people who may need the love of Buddha, Krishna, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mandela, Jesus lavished on them today – through you. Be willing to be a vessel used by Life, not just toward people whom you love and agree with, but to people whom you may find difficult or disagree with. Ask Life to give you wisdom and strength to be love to each and every person you encounter.
Life, I long to love others as you love me. Help me not to judge but to love them supernaturally with an open heart and without conditions.