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February 1, 2018, 10:26 AM

From the Heart

We all know the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second is like it: to love your neighbor as yourself. Love is emotion, love is action, but love is most complete as a relationship. God so loved the world. He was in such a committed relationship to the world that includes you and me; that He sent his only son to seek and save lost sinful people. Their relationship with Him was broken by human sin so God took action to recreate the love relationship. God lavishes unconditional love on His children. He bids us to receive His love and live with Him by faith in His love.

This is a strange thing for us. We do not understand unconditional love. Humanity places all kinds of conditions on love. We are capable of loving someone if we expect them to perform well, and we are definitely capable loving those that perform well for us. It is easy to stay in relationship when a partner performs well. Whenever performance is lost, too many human relationships get strained; and then broken if performance is not corrected. Unconditional love seems wasteful and futile because we do not believe it inspires better performance.

Most relationships, including marriages, parent-child relationships, friendships, and all professional relationships have a powerful per- formance dependency.

If someone does not maintain a certain performance level, the relationships become strained and broken. Even usually loving, committed re- lationships involve threats, coercion, and manipulation of various forms to motivate the partners to perform as expected. Without unconditional love these relationships are weaker and there is less life in them than should be.

Wouldn’t it be great to find a high performing and loving relationship partner? One who could always be relied upon to deliver both performance and love reliably? As technology advances there are some who believe that the reliable love we need can come from a robot. David Hanson, the founder of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, says “We are building the AI architecture for genuine love”. The willingness to invest millions in technology to achieve genuine love exposes both the great human need for love and our willingness to pursue love in futile and misguided ways. The eternal love that heals our brokenness will never come from technology.

The nurturing, tender and inspirational love we need and crave comes only from God. Despite all your sins and failures, God continues to believe the best about you and invests in you so that your best can become a reality. He sees you were you are and loves you as you are. That said, he loves you too much to leave you as you are so he shapes you into the glorious being that you were created to be. God loves you and blesses you every day in accordance with His truth. It is His love that you crave. He feeds you with his love and will do so the more you ask. In performance based relationships there is little interest in investing time or effort in order to help someone develop. God’s unconditional love meets you where you are, heals you, and enables you to become the person you were meant to be. He calls you to come to Him for rest, for peace, for love and to become all you can be with Him.

The problem is that there is a human tendency not to ask out of a desire to achieve love on our own merit. We want to perform to earn love instead of receive it unconditionally. This is our natural unfaithful state, but if you truly want more love in your life the way is open for you to come to him and ask him every day. Please seek the unconditional love of God and learn what it means to trust Him more and more. 

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