Ask anyone who knows me about the content of most sermons and talks I give, and they will likely tell you, “Love.”
To me, love is the core of the Christian message. It is the core of the Christian life. It is what we are called to do, and be, in relationship with the people around us. It is the message of the Kingdom of God.
There is always push back, though. People want me to remember about God’s wrath, justice, and righteousness. I do remember, honest. Simply put, I don’t know if love negates justice and righteousness. Wrath is a whole other story (link provided).
One of the challenges many people have with God’s love is how they talk and think about it. Often (they, we, me/I) talk about God’s unconditional love but think about it as a transaction. We extend God’s unconditional love to folks because we want the person with whom we are sharing to become followers of Christ, get saved, radically change, etc.
So, even though we talk about love in unconditional terms, we think about as a transaction: I give you something and you give me something in return.
This can happen with asking for forgiveness or apologizing.
We said we’re sorry, why are they still angry!?
For me, unconditional love has no conditions or expectations. It is given freely. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a cost. It costs dearly to love unconditionally, just ask Jesus.
We are to love without conditions or expectations or agendas and continue to love no matter the outcome.
God’s wrath and anger are appealing because there is a fall back position if the opposition to our attempts with loving someone meet with resistance.
Does this idea challenge you and your view of God’s love?
let’s talk about it.