As I have loved you, love one another. This new (?) commandment, love one another. By this shall men know ye are my disciples.
Hymn text based on John 13:34-35
It is a commandment to love one another AS JESUS loves us. It is “new”, I think, because of the higher law He was introducing. Not the lower “eye for an eye” law. That love is “I love you as long as you love me.”
Christ-love is unconditional love. A love that, no matter what I do or don’t do, He offers me constantly, continually and without condition.
How does unconditional love work? Thanks to words I heard Matt Turner say, I began to ponder a way of seeing, offering and experiencing unconditional love in a one-another-kind-of-way.
“Love can only be given. It cannot be received. Give love to yourself and give love to others. Love is only love when it is unconditional.”
The part that struck me was “love cannot be received”.
It seems like receiving love is very important. But I can see how “receiving love” is conditional.
The condition is that someone else has to be giving it in order for it to exist. I have no control over that condition.
If, however, I am giving love (to myself and to others) then I am also in an open place. If someone gives me love while I am giving love, I am simply open and the love flows both in and out simultaneously.
If someone is unable or unwilling to give love, that condition doesn’t matter. Love is still flowing through me by my own choice… unconditionally. I can choose to love myself and others any time. Any place. Any condition.
A cool thing happened the next week after I had these thoughts. I offered to help chaperone girls camp for my church. Look at the group t-shirt I got!
What more can I say?