There is no such thing as unconditional love.
It's true. Argue with me in your head all you want. I'll bet that argument sounds like this:
That's not true! I love my child unconditionally!
Nope, there's a condition: he/she is your child. Conditional.
That's not true! God loves me unconditionally!
Nope, there's a condition: we're his creations. Conditional.
Now, you don't have to think of this as a bad thing. I think it's a great thing, especially for my silly human brain. Because if all love is conditional, then when I'm having a hard time loving somebody, all I need to do is find a condition!
It's genius, really.
A few years ago, I met a woman I didn't like very much. Part of it was that she looked like someone from my past, and I didn't like that. The other part of it was that she was annoying. I couldn't relate to her, I couldn't figure her out, and I sure didn't love her. But I wanted to. I had to. I was around her a lot.
And if you're trying to figure out if it's you, the answer is no. It wasn't you.
I had to figure out what to do. I couldn't go on being annoyed by this woman! It was stressful! So I found a friend who knew her well. I said, "Can you tell me how to love her? Please? I need some kind of information that will help me love this woman, and you know her better than I do."
So she did. She told me some good traits about this woman and some info on her background that I didn't know before. It was like a light switch flipped in my brain.
Oh. I didn't know all that. So there are good things about her? This woman is lovable? OK! I can do this!
And I did. I set my heart to "love" and actually spent time with her.We're not, like, BFFs or anything now, but where I once found her annoying, now I understand her better and we can hang out. Chat. We're friends. I love her.
Because I found a condition that helped me do that.
Who do you need to learn to love in your life? Or who do you need help continuing to love? What condition can you come up with that will help you love him or her?
And, if you run out of ideas, the condition can be that God loves them. Or that God loved you enough to die for you, so you could probably love someone else. I'm just sayin'.