When I was a kid I was a piano-playing child prodigy. Well, I thought I was. After composing one such sonic symphony I boldly declared to my grandparents, “I don’t even need piano lessons.” I was that good, or self-diluted.
I was also innovative. My mom owned a piano, a real old school piano. When I was real small I apparently decided to play those ivory keys with different kinds of keys. A house key. A car key. Any kind of key really. Sharp side grading against the piano keys. I imagine my mom listening to the beautiful music, love filling her heart for her favorite child. (sorry to my twin sister, who was likely doing this with me.) I can just see her coming into the room to compliment me on such unparalleled piano playing ability. Coming closer to hug her son only to see the piano keys, that now looked like teeth. Ruined. That was the day I learned my mom loved her piano more than me.
Ok, she loved me more. But I’m sure she wasn’t happy! And let’s be honest, people often place expectations on love. Human love is often conditional.
“I will love you until…”
“I will love you as long as…”
“I will love you unless…”
“If you loved me you would…”
You can fill in the blank, it sometimes seems like people will love us only as much as we agree with them, or do what they want. The moment we fall below their expectations, love is taken away.
I want to make sure you know, THAT IS NOT TRUE LOVE. That is certainly not how God loves. Maybe you have experienced that kind of conditional love from family, friends or relationships. Maybe you’ve lived in fear that if you mess-up, you will lose love from the people in your life. I want you to know this simple truth. God still loves you, even after you make big mistakes.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Have you ever felt like if you mess up, you won’t be accepted?
- Have you ever struggled to love someone who fell below your expectations?
PRAY: Lord, help me to recognize that even when I make big mistakes, You still love me.
Romans 8:31-39 (NLT) What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 4:7-21 (NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.