God’s love is so much different and better than unconditional.
Unconditional love, by contemporary definition, starts and stops with sympathy and empathy, with blanket acceptance. It accepts you as you are, with no expectations. You can take it or leave it. But think about what God’s love for you is like.
God does not benignly gaze on you in affirmation. God cares too much to be unconditional.
Read Psalm 121, Hosea 11, Hosea 14, Isaiah 49…the life of Jesus. The Lord watches you. The Lord cares. What His children do and what happens to His children matter. Watching, caring and mattering are intense. Complex. Specific. Personal.
Unconditional love isn’t nearly so good or compelling. In comparison it is detached, general, impersonal. God’s love is much better than unconditional.
God is active. He decided to love you when He could have justly condemned you. He’s involved. He’s merciful, not simply tolerant. He who abhors sin pursues sinners by name. God is so committed to forgiving and changing you that He sent Jesus to die for you. He welcomes the poor in spirit with a shout and a feast. God is vastly patient and relentlessly persevering as He intrudes into your life. God’s love actively does you good.
God’s love is full of blood, sweat, tears, and cries. He suffered for you. He fights for you, defending the afflicted. He fights you. He pursues you in powerful tenderness so that He can change you. He’s jealous, not detached.
His sort of empathy and sympathy speaks out: words of truth to set you free of sin and misery. He will discipline you as proof that He loves you. He, Himself, comes to live in you, pouring out His Holy Spirit in
your heart, so you will know Him. He puts out power and energy. God’s love has hate in it: hate for evil, whether done to you or by you. God’s love demands that you respond: believe, trust, obey, give thanks with a joyful heart, work out your salvation with fear, delight in the Lord.
God’s love is much better than unconditional.