The phrase has been so overused that now it is tossed off as a given.
It is a symbol of tolerance, a byline for acceptance; a teary-eyed sentiment conveying that we are truly embraced by affection.
If by unconditional love you mean verifying and legitimizing everything people do, then absolutely not. But if by unconditional love you mean a decision to stay with people and continue to be supportive, even though they are struggling or having problems, then assuredly.
But the definition is a slippery banana peel which needs to be clarified. It takes seven verses from the Good Book in Matthew the 16th Chapter to do so. These define what unconditional love is from the perspective of Jesus, who came to show us the attitudes and mind of the Father in Heaven.
In the 16th verse of that 16th Chapter in Matthew, Peter has a brilliant moment. When asked by Jesus, “Who do you think I am?” he quickly replies, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
Jesus steps right into him with praise–and not only praise, but offers the status of a new name, and says that because of his great answer, he will be given more authority.
But just a few verses further, when Jesus is explaining to the disciples where the Jerusalem experience might lead, and that he will be killed by the Jewish elders and leaders, Peter rebukes him. I don’t know–maybe the disciple was high on his own praise–but he says that Jesus is mistaken–nothing like that could happen.
Under the popular concept of unconditional love, we would expect Jesus to say, “That’s all right, Peter. It is a bit difficult to comprehend. But hang in there–you’ll eventually get the idea.”
Under the umbrella of unconditional love, we would not expect, Jesus to call him Satan simply because he didn’t understand what was going on. But that’s exactly what Jesus does.
Because even though it says that “God so loved the world because he gave his only begotten son,” everlasting life is contingent upon us accepting that gift.
We are told that we are saved, but we are also warned that we will have to endure to the end to receive the realization.
The definition of unconditional love from the aspect of the Jesonian is as follows:
“I will love you enough to tell you the truth, because the truth will make you free–and only when you’re free do you really learn to love.”
When you remove the truth from love, what you have is flattery. It may feel the same, but it lacks the veracity to sustain us through the hard times, where our weaknesses will obviously be exposed.
To love someone is to tell him or her the truth. The truth grants the individual the ability to be free of the humiliation of being exposed. And once absent fear, a freedom to love is unleashed.
I am afraid that people who accept unconditional love as a guarantee that they will never be challenged will never truly learn to love.
- Jesus loved Peter enough to praise him–when it was the truth.
- He loved him enough to call him Satan when that also was the truth.
- And even though Peter denied Jesus, Jesus never denied Peter.
- Get your definition of unconditional love correct and then you can implement it:“I love you enough to tell you the truth, so you can be free to learn to love.”