My Love Is Conditional And Selfish
If you look love up in the dictionary, it defines love as ‘an intense feeling of deep affection.’ So is it true that feelings of deep affection today can change to resentment tomorrow?
Ed likes to say that back in 1956, when Elvis Presley sang, “Love me tender, love me sweet, love me tender, love me true,” that romantic love was to be long lasting. Presley summed up love with the words, “For my darling, I love you, and I always will.” Romantic love had the hope that the love between two people would stick through the passing of time. Love until death parts us is still the goal of some of us today.
Love is an intense feeling that can also be expressed as a deep affection or pleasure for what a person likes or enjoys. So we say things like she loves to dance, he loves to play hockey and video games, we all love to eat French fries, etc.
Love is considered a foundation for family members and their kin, also for friendships, for one’s community, country, and religious affiliation. Love is what one feels, but it does not stop at a feeling level, as love must be enacted. To love means to act lovingly. Unfortunately, it is often the case that we speak of our love for another only to hear them say, “you don’t act as you love me.”
The Bible is clear that God is love. God loves with the highest form of love, which is selfless and sacrificial. It is steadfast, unchanging, and unconditional. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. We call the love of God agape love. In 1 John 4:9-10, we are told, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” We did not deserve such a sacrifice, “but God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
As shown by Jesus, Agape love was not based on a feeling; but a determined act of His will to put the welfare of sinners above his own. In love for us sinners, Jesus laid down his life to save us. As those blessed by Jesus’ love, we are to love others selflessly and sacrificially.
God’s way of love isn’t something we can easily and readily do. Because of our sinful nature, we may not act out of love in the best interest of others. Instead, we may operate in the best interest of ourselves. Instead of being patient towards others, we may be impatient. We may be unkind to others, even arrogant or rude. We may boast before people yet envy them behind their backs. We like to have our own way and may become irritable or resentful if we do not get our way.
God’s love is mightier and purer than our sinfulness. Therefore, we rely on the love of God to help us to love Him and others as God has first loved us in Christ.