Love Without Conditions

26 Feb

“Our Job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
Thomas Merton

We have a really difficult time accepting that God’s love is unconditional because, in our human condition, we cannot conceive of anything that does not have some strings attached:
I will be your friend as long as . . .
I will employ you as long as . . .
I will marry you if . . .
I will do this favor for you if . . .

The list could go on and on and I am sure you could augment it with many more of your own.  We spend our entire lives making conditions: tying strings on our possessions, affection, and anything else that can possibly be encumbered by favors attached.

Because of this, we cannot imagine unconditional love.  What do you mean?  God loves us with no strings attached?  There is nothing that we can say or do that will prevent God from loving us?  God will provide for us without expecting anything in return?  These ideas are foreign to us because we have a hard time doing the same for others.

I know many people who are waiting for a telephone call from a family member or friend.  Why is the person waiting for a call?  Well, it’s because that person called last and it is now the other person’s “turn” to call.  The same holds with Christmas cards, birthday cards, and other kinds of greetings.  They often get turned into reciprocal events instead of spontaneous greetings of love, care, or concern.

The best thing that we can do for ourselves and for others is to love without expecting anything in return and give without expecting anything in return.  When we count someone as unworthy of our love, care, or concern, we are setting ourselves up as little gods.  We have no right to determine who receives and who is not worthy to receive.  God gives generously to all.  We need to emulate God.

After all, are any of us truly “worthy” to receive God’s love?  If we judge through the eyes of this world, we would have to say that we are all woefully inadequate.  If we view ourselves through the eyes of God, all we would see is the beauty and splendor in which we have been made.

Do not judge anyone unworthy of your love.  Tie no strings to your love.  Love freely.

FAITH ACTION:  Pay special attention today to those you tend to ignore as you remind yourself that they are God’s children as well.