GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
By Keith L. Estes
By special request from my friend, Tom Ivey, this article is being repeated.
As we purpose to become more intentional in love, there are some important prerequisites to remember. The right attitude for love is UNCONDITIONAL.
A television spot produced by the Franciscan Production Center shows a Catholic Sister in the midst of a leper colony, surrounded by disease, death, and despair, caring for a group of Indian lepers. An off-screen voice comments “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars!” The sister turns slowly to the camera and says, “Neither would I.”
In his book, Unconditional Love, John Powell writes, “There is no third possibility: love is either conditional or unconditional. Either I attach conditions to my love for you, or I do not. To the extent that I do attach such conditions, I do not really love you. I am only offering an exchange, not a gift. And true love is and must always be a gift.
Look again at our definition of love- LOVE IS INTENTIONALLY DOING SOMETHING CARING OR HELPFUL FOR ANOTHER PERSON, IN JESUS NAME, REGARDLESS OF THE COST OR CONSEQUENCE TO ONESELF.
Did you catch the phrase? …Regardless of the cost or consequence to oneself. Love is unconditional. It does not need to be returned. Christ’s death on the cross is the greatest illustration of the cost of love. Such love is not motivated by personal gain or reward. Real love is unselfish, unassuming, and unconditional! WOW!
The importance of giving love with no expectation of return is underscored by ancient philosophers:
PLATO: “Love, in its purest form, is dependent on only one of the two parties involved.”
ARISTOTLE: “Love consists in loving, rather than in being loved.”
CICERO: Thus I judge that love is to be sought, not in the hope of the reward which comes with it, but because its whole gain is in the love itself.”
Scripture reinforces this attitude of giving love, when love is not received: “…But Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, and that is God’s own proof of His love toward us.” Or again, “Let this mind (attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who though He was God, did not cling to his rights as God, but laid aside His mighty power and glory, taking upon himself the form of a servant.
What an important truth to learn-that love’s great reward is in the giving, rather than in the receiving. Recognize and act on this truth, and you have the right attitude for love- unconditional.
References: From the book, Who Cares About Love? By Win Arn, Carroll Nyquist and Charles Arm. Published by Church Growth, Pasadena, Ca. 91101. Used by permission. Also Philippians 2: 5-7, Romans 5: 8, The Holy Bible.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition