Despite your best intentions and well-meaning desire to see God’s people walk in righteousness and truth, you’ve got to give up control. How do you do this? (A) Come to grips with the fact that God will indeed clean up His people. He may not do it your way and He may not do it in the timely way that you would. But you can be sure of the fact that God’s going to clean His people up.

(B) Instead of forcing your beliefs and convictions on others, pray for them and trust the Lord to deal with whatever’s wrong in their life. You see, it’s not wrong to be concerned  about  the waywardness of the brethren. It’s not wrong to confront the brethren with the things that are wrong in their lives. Brethren, whether you’re on the right side of an issue or the wrong side, you all have to understand that GOD HAS GIVEN ALL HIS PEOPLE THE LIBERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO TALK TO THE ERRING  AMONG  THEMSELVES AND HELP THEM GET WHAT’S WRONG, RIGHT.  See Romans 15:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, James 5:19-20, Jude 22-23. But loving concern for the brethren is one thing: forcing yourself upon them is another. Brethren, trust the Lord for wisdom in dealing with your brothers and sisters. Get control out of your loving concern for the brethren. Seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in using your loving concern to help God’s people without giving them the impression that you’re trying to control them.

(C) Lastly, remember that your job is not to make other believers look like you. Your job is for you to become like Jesus Himself. And that, dear friends, is a full-time job that doesn’t leave you any time to force people to be just like you. Friends, learn to rest in God’s love for His own.  He will mature and perfect them.  It may not be your way or time. But the work will get done. Remember that salvation is instantaneous, but maturity and perfection take a lifetime. Give God’s people time. And, with lots of prayer, faith, and love, they’ll become the kind of Christian that God wants them to become.

IDENTIFY THE CONDITIONS AND GET RID OF THEM.  Conditional love, as we’ve shown you, comes with all sorts of conditions, requirements, and expectations for God’s people to fulfill before you will love them. Identify what these conditions are. Think about them. Write them down if you have to and make yourself a list. Taking the time to do this and see these conditions face-to-face is a good way for you to come to grips with what you’re doing wrong. It helps you to remember what’s wrong. Once you’ve identified these conditions, repent to the Lord for conditionally loving the brethren. Then resolve in your heart that from now on you’re going to love your brethren without any strings attached.

LOVE AS GOD LOVES.  Lastly, to get rid of conditional love we’re going to have to determine to love people the same way God loves them. Many people think that loving as God loves is something that they’ve got to work up or try very hard to get from God.  But the truth of the matter is,  like faith, YOU ALREADY HAVE GOD’S AGÁPE LOVE IN YOU. AND LOVING THE BRETHREN IS SIMPLY A MATTER OF YOU USING THE LOVE YOU ALREADY HAVE.

Look at what John 17:26 says, I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. Romans 5:5 goes on to say, And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

You see, brethren, you already have God’s love in you.   God’s   love is   sovereign,   self-sacrificial, unmerited, unconditional, and unending. Now take this love and begin loving God’s people the same way God loves them. God bless you and may He help us all become lovers of the brethren.



So how do we rid ourselves of conditional love? Well, since conditional love is motivated to a large extent by control, then in order to rid ourselves of conditional love we first have to relinquish control over God’s people.

Now there are many aspects of control and many different reasons why people seek to control others. Some control others for selfish reasons. That is, they’re doing it in order to amass a cultic following for themselves. Others do it because they want people to wait on them hand and foot and serve their own selfish interests, ambitions, or needs.

Others, however, use control in a sincere, well-meaning desire to see God’s people believe the truth and walk in the paths of righteousness. They force people to believe what they believe. Do what they do. Live the way they live.


A. CONTROL DOESN’T MAKE ANYONE RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT.  Look at a couple of verses with me. Galatians 2:21 reads, I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 3:21 repeats the same thought: Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been  a  law  given  which  could  have  given  life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. In other words, NOBODY BECOMES RIGHTEOUS BY KEEPING THE LAW.

We can talk about any kind of law—whether it’s men’s laws or God’s laws. These two verses in Galatians are speaking about God’s  laws.  Think  about  this  for a moment because it’ll floor you. NOT EVEN GOD’S DIVINE, INERRANT, RIGHTEOUS LAWS COULD MAKE ANY ONE RIGHTEOUS! Why? Because the laws were so righteous that if you broke just one of the laws you were automatically judged unrighteous and a violator of the whole law: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10). Brethren, if God’s laws cannot make any one righteous, then who are we to presume that God’s people will become righteous if they keep our rules and laws? Will we accomplish what God’s law could not, or did not, accomplish?

B. CONTROL CAN’T CLEAN UP THE INSIDE. There are two basic aspects of righteousness: external and internal. External righteousness is the kind of righteousness that is outward and can be seen. Internal righteousness, on the other hand, is the kind of righteousness that isn’t readily seen or obvious. It’s what’s going on inside of you. The thoughts you’re thinking or the things you’re pondering in your heart are part of what makes you either righteous or unrighteous in God’s sight. TO BE RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT YOU’VE GOT TO BE BOTH EXTERNALLY AND INTERNALLY RIGHTEOUS.

Now there is a sense in which the laws of God and/or the laws of men could make men righteous, but righteous only as it relates to external righteousness. If people conformed to your good or Bible-based laws, if they obeyed your rules; chances are, they will look good from all outward appearances. CONTROL CAN MAKE PEOPLE LOOK GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE. BUT IT CAN’T CLEAN A PERSON UP IN THE INSIDE. This is where Pharisaism went wrong.  It  produced good-looking  people. But their attitudes, thoughts, and even their behavior were abominable and godless.

Read what Jesus had to say to Judaism’s most religious men in Matthew 23:25-28, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. {26} Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. {27} Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. {28} Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Do you know what this rebuke and denunciation says? It says that IT’S POSSIBLE FOR  PIOUS, RELIGIOUS, TOTALLY-COMMITTED PEOPLE TO LOOK GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE, AND STILL MISS THE KINGDOM BY MILES BECAUSE THEY’RE FILTHY AND SINFUL IN THE INSIDE. Pharisaism couldn’t clean up the inside. It couldn’t produce internal righteousness. If we would be honest with ourselves, we would have to acknowledge that legalism, shepherdship bondage, or control cannot succeed in cleaning God’s people up. Only God can do that.

C. CONTROL CAN’T GIVE CONVICTION. Christian conduct has to be accompanied by Christian conviction. You can force people to do certain things. But YOU CAN’T FORCE THEM TO HAVE A CONVICTION THAT THEY JUST DON’T HAVE. YOU   CAN’T   FORCE   THEM   TO   BELIEVE SOMETHING THEY JUST DON’T BELIEVE. That’s why controlling people by dictating your beliefs or by legislating your morality and convictions just doesn’t work. It doesn’t produce good, lasting fruit.

D. NO ONE IS AUTHORIZED TO CONTROL. God forbids His ministers from lording, or ruling, over the flock. I Peter 5:3 commands them, Neither be ye lords over God’s heritage. In the vernacular, don’t be domineering or controlling. The apostolic prohibition is simply a restatement of what Jesus already told His ministers:  Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (43)  But so shall it not be among you (Mark 10:42-43).

Friends, if ministers can’t be controlling, what makes you think you can? WHEN YOU EXERCISE CONTROL OVER OTHERS YOU’RE IN DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD. You’re engaging in a prerogative that is not yours to have. You have no God-given right to rule or control.


But instead of doing that, God broke ranks with these power mongers and took Christianity down the path of liberty. He gave every believer the freedom to be fully persuaded in his or her own mind about the convictions they’ll have.

Romans 14 catalogs some of the differing convictions that the Roman believers had.  Do  you  know  what God said to this church full of disagreements and differences?  He said, One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Romans 14:5). BY GIVING HIS PEOPLE SUCH LIBERTY OR FREEDOM, GOD, IN EFFECT, IS TELLING US THAT OUR DICTATING OVER EVERY FACET OF PEOPLE’S LIVES AND FAITH IS NOT HIS WAY OF CLEANING HIS PEOPLE UP.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 5. This final installment looks at the practical things we can do to rid ourselves of conditional love. Don’t even think about missing it!



4. CONDITIONAL LOVE LEADS TO HATRED.  Another problem with conditional love is it leads to hatred. You see, when your love is conditional you’ll eventually come to a point where you quit loving a person because they’ve messed up. Now when you quit loving a brother or sister, you have a different attitude towards them. You treat them differently. You behave and act differently towards them. You may, or may not, try to hide the change that’s come over you. But the change is pretty noticeable and obvious to the person you’ve quit loving.

Now this change in your attitude, conduct, or behavior arouses the baser sentiments of human nature. More often than not, it leads the person you’ve quit loving to hate, despise, or resent you. They see what kind of friend you really are, what kind of love you really have for them, and they hate or despise you for it. You were a hypocrite all along, pretending you were a lifelong friend with an undying love for them. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve run across who hate and despise many of us who’ve been faithful and obedient to the Lord and His Word. They hate us because we cut them off and treated them badly the moment they did something we didn’t like or agree with. Conditional love, I’m saying, eventually leads to hatred.

In the framework of our human love for one another, there is a broad spectrum between love and hate. It’s possible to be right in the middle where you don’t love a person, but, at the same time, you don’t hate him either. You would never hate somebody: you just don’t love the person in question.


1 John 2:10-11 makes this real plain, He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. {11} But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. The Scriptures make it plain that the only thing you can do with your brother or sister in the Lord is, you can either love them or else hate them: there’s no middle ground in between. We hesitate using the word ‘hate’ because we know Christians aren’t supposed to hate anyone. But as far as God’s concerned, if we don’t love someone, then for all practical purposes, we hate them. God sees lovelessness and hatred as one and the same thing.

1 John 3:14-15 bears this truth out, We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. {15} Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. You see, friends, the Bible doesn’t make a distinction between the failure or refusal to love someone and the decision to hate him. Not loving someone is the same thing as hating him. 1 John 4:20 sums and seals up this truth, If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Seen in this light, HATRED IS NOT ONLY THE DECISION TO HATE:  IT’S  ALSO  THE  DECISION  NOT  TO LOVE.   HATRED IS NOT ONLY ACTIVE HATRED,  BUT ALSO PASSIVE  LOVELESSNESS.  Brethren, when  you refuse to love someone or when you quit loving someone, God sees you as you hating that person—they’re both one and the same thing. And the sooner you admit this truth the sooner you’ll take seriously your decision not to love someone anymore. Why is it such a serious thing to quit loving someone? Read on.

5. CONDITIONAL LOVE WILL ULTIMATELY KILL YOU. Sooner or later, your conditional love will kill you. Let me tell you what I mean.

GOD DOESN’T CONSIDER YOU HIS OWN IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER IN THE LORD. As far as He’s concerned, you don’t belong to Him. 1 John 3:10, In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

YOU ARE A LIAR. 1 John 4:20, If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother  whom  he  hath  seen, how  can  he  love  God whom he hath not seen?  You say you love God. But God sees that as one big fat lie.  As far as He’s concerned, you don’t  love  Him–not if you don’t love your brother or sister in the Lord at the same time. We give ourselves the liberty of loving God and not loving a brother  or  sister.  But  God  doesn’t  give  us  that liberty. God makes no such distinction. If you don’t love your brother or sister in the Lord you don’t love God either. For you to say otherwise only makes you a liar. And as a liar, you won’t be living in Heaven: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars,  shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

You see, from God’s point of view, you cannot love Him and hate your brother or sister at the same time. You cannot love Him without loving the brethren too. If you love God, you’ve got to love the brethren too. 1 John 4:21 makes this very clear, And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 John 5:1 goes right on to say, Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat (the Father) loveth him also that is begotten of him (one who has been born of God, a Christian).

YOU ARE A MURDERER. 1 John 3:15, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. You may never have pulled a gun or knife on someone  and  taken  the   life   of  another  human  being.  But there’s more to murder than just murder. There’s another form of murder, another way to kill, and that is hatred.  Hatred is murder!  WHEN YOU HATE SOMEONE, WHEN YOU DON’T LOVE THE BRETHREN, YOU BECOME A MURDERER IN GOD’S EYES. AND AS LONG AS YOU REFUSE TO LOVE THE BRETHREN IN QUESTION YOU REMAIN A MURDERER.

AS A HATER AND MURDERER OF THE BRETHREN, YOU DON’T HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. You are abiding in death, which is to say, for all practical purposes, it’s as if you never got saved. 1 John 2:9-11 reads, He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. {10} He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. {11} But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 1 John 3:14 echoes the same truth, We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Friends, YOU CANNOT HATE THE BRETHREN AND STILL LIVE. YOU CANNOT LIVE WITH HATRED OR LOVELESSNESS IN YOUR HEART! IT’LL EVENTUALLY KILL YOU.  When  you  decide  you  aren’t  going  to love a brother or sister in the Lord anymore, at that point, you’re jeopardizing your place in glory. It’s just not worth it! NO PERSON—NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU HATE THEM—IS WORTH GOING TO HELL OVER.

Brethren, take your decision not to love a brother or sister in the Lord seriously, very seriously, because it’s a serious thing to hate and murder the brethren. It’s a crime punishable by eternal death in the lake of fire.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 4. To stop loving conditionally we’ve got to relinquish control.  It’s a tough one. But not nearly as tough as Hell. Drop by and let’s bury conditional love. Everyone in your life will be glad you did.



2. WHEN YOU CONDITION LOVE YOU SHORTEN ITS LIFESPAN.  When you condition love and make it dependent on how other people behave, people will, sooner or later, mess up because people aren’t perfect. And when they mess up, there goes the end of your love. Herein lies another problem with conditional love. It doesn’t last very long. It ends the moment you’re hurt or disappointed. It’s lost the moment a person fails to live up to your standards, expectations, or demands.

Agápe love, in contrast, lasts a lifetime. 1 Corinthians 13:8a reads, Charity never faileth. True love, that is agápe Christian love, never fails. It never quits loving. Which is  to say, brethren,  IF  YOU  QUIT  LOVING SOMEONE THEN YOU NEVER REALLY LOVED THEM—not in the Biblical sense of the term. You may have loved them with the love that humans have for one another. But you never loved them the way God told you to love them: you never agápe loved them.

Brethren, when you agápe love someone you’ll never quit loving them. That’s how you can tell what kind of love you have—by how long it lasts. Agápe love lasts a lifetime. Through all the griefs and disappointments you face as the result of people’s failures, agápe keeps on loving. It never quits loving.

How is that possible? Because agápe love isn’t conditional. It keeps on loving in spite of people’s imperfections and sins because that is its nature. Brethren, IT’S POSSIBLE TO KEEP ON LOVING PEOPLE EVEN WHEN THEY’VE SINNED OR FALLEN SHORT. THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CONDONE THEIR SINS OR IMPERFECTIONS. BUT TRUE LOVE WAS NEVER CONDITIONED OR DEPENDENT ON PEOPLE’S FLAWLESSNESS OR PERFECTION. True love keeps on loving because it was meant to do that. It was meant to last a lifetime. It was meant never to fail or end.

Brethren, WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO QUIT LOVING ONE ANOTHER. IT’S WRONG, AND WE’RE WRONG, TO QUIT LOVING THE BRETHREN. Yet some of us do it all the time. We quit loving because

  • they left the church.
  • they quit believing what we believe.
  • they’re hanging out with people we don’t like.
  • they weren’t nice to me.
  • they hurt my feelings.
  • they said some pretty bad things about me.
  • the preacher stepped on my toes.
  • ad infinitum.

These are reasons enough for us to quit loving one another? Brethren, THERE’S NO VERSE IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE WHERE GOD TELLS US IT’S ALRIGHT TO QUIT LOVING SOMEONE. You won’t find a single verse! I can tell you where God says don’t pray for someone, don’t hang around with someone, don’t eat with someone, don’t listen to someone, don’t bring or welcome someone into your home, don’t bid someone godspeed. But don’t love someone? Brethren, we’re supposed to love even our enemies! How much more the brethren! Despite what they’ve done. True love lasts a lifetime. It lasts forever.

3. CONDITIONAL LOVE LEADS TO A BREAKDOWN IN RELATIONSHIPS.  When you make your love for people conditional or dependent on their actions, your love for them will eventually end, and with it, your friendship or relationship with them. Why is that? Because no one’s perfect. Imperfect people will eventually mess up. And when they do, friendships that are built or based on conditional love will crumble and end. This is something that we’ve seen proven time after time after time. The high rate of divorce and familial alienation tell the story in an endless litany of tragic refrain. Relationships are temporary, they aren’t lasting, when they’re built or based on conditional love. 

IF WE’RE TIRED OF LOSING FRIENDS AND ALIENATING OTHER CHRISTIANS WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO STOP LOVING THEM CONDITIONALLY AND START LOVING THEM UNCONDITIONALLY IN SPITE OF ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE WRONG OR DISAGREEABLE ABOUT THEM. Brethren, if we want the fighting and divisions to stop, we’ve got to learn to keep on loving one another in spite of our differences. We need to find a way to keep the unity and peace.

The longer I live, the more I’m convinced that THERE ISN’T A PROBLEM THAT LOVE, PRAYER, FAITH, AND THE LORD CANNOT FIX. THE SAME GOD THAT KEEPS ALL OF CREATION TOGETHER WITHOUT IT FALLING APART SURELY HAS THE POWER  AND  KNOW-HOW TO KEEP OUR RELATIONSHIPS TOGETHER. And He’s showing us how He’s going to do it. He’s telling us what it’s going to take to keep our friendships intact. It’s called loving one another unconditionally.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 3. Another couple of things wrong with conditional love. It’ll be a sobering look at the devastating effect conditional love has on you if you love conditionally. It may well be the death knell that sets you free. So don’t miss out!


A Short Word Of Introduction. I preached the following message some years ago as a pastor with a heart burdened by the sad state of hatred, alienation, and broken relationships within the local church. Many of the things said here apply equally to marriage and family where, most tragically of all, conditional love is found. If you love conditionally, I pray that these blog posts will help you end the cycle of animosity and alienation that’s found wherever conditional love is practiced. God has a better way of loving. These posts are a tiny peek into the kind of love God wants us to have for all mankind.


What is conditional love? It is loving with strings attached. It is making your love for someone dependent on their meeting several factors, conditions, or prerequisites—most of which have to do with a desire on your part to control them. For example, you’ll love them—

  • if they do what you want them to do.
  • if they live the way you want them to live.
  • if they believe what you want them to believe.
  • if they behave the way you want them to behave.
  • if they dress the way you want them to dress.
  • if they get good grades in school.
  • if they make the athletic team.
  • if they quit sinning and get right with the Lord.
  • if they go to the same church you go to.
  • if they don’t say anything bad about you.
  • if they treat you nicely.
  • if they do good things for you.
  • if they pay attention to you and cater to you.
  • if they love you in return. And the such like.

Conditional love, in short, is loving someone only after they’ve met the conditions you’ve set for them. Said another way, in order for people to be loved by you they’ve got to earn your love. How do they earn it? By submitting themselves to your control.

For too many of us, conditional love is the only love we know. It’s the only way we know to love. Yet, it’s wrong. It’s not the way we’re supposed to love one another. Let me tell you what I mean.      


1. IT’S NOT THE RIGHT KIND OF LOVE.  There are several things wrong with conditional love. The first of these is, it’s not the kind of love that God wants us to have. You see, there are several different kinds of love. But not all loves are the same.

Prior to the time of Christ, when Greece ruled much of the then-known world, there were three main words for love in the lingua franca of the Greco-Roman world.

  • There is a love between members of the opposite sex that is sensual, sexual, and erotic. It is a love that seeks gratification of mankind’s innate need for sexual satisfaction and emotional, or romantic, acceptance. In the Greek, this love is called éros.
  • There is a love that parents have for their children and that children have for their parents. It’s a love that members of a family have for one another. In the Greek, this love is called stórge.
  • Then there is a love that friends have for one another. It can be a love between members of the same sex or members of the opposite sex. It’s not  a sexual kind of love, but simply a love that enjoys the friendship and company of a friend. In the Greek, this love is called philía.

Now when God commanded us to love one another He used a different word for love. And that word was agápe. It was a word that the Greeks just didn’t use very much.  Its  meaning  was somewhat nebulous. In one instance, it meant to be satisfied with something; in another, to seek after; and yet in another, to prefer or esteem one person more highly than another. Sometimes the word was used in the sense of greeting or receiving a person. At other times, however, it meant sympathy. As if these were not enough, agápe was also used to speak of friendship between equals.  So, as you can see, the Greeks weren’t too settled on the exact meaning of agápe and it’s probably the reason why they just didn’t use the word very much.

Now when Jesus came along, He introduced a whole new meaning to this word. In light of His teachings and the example of love that He set for us, agápe has come to mean sovereign, unmerited, unconditional love.

When God commanded us to love one another, He commanded us to love one another the same way He loves us. John 15:12 reads, This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. In other words, we’re not supposed to love one another the way many of us have heretofore been loving one another. We’re not supposed to love one another conditionally, with strings attached. Brethren, God wants us to love His people without them having to earn, merit, or deserve our  love.  God’s  love for us is sovereign, unmerited, unearned, undeserved, and unconditional. He wants our love for one another to be the same way. God wants us to love each other unconditionally with no strings attached. None whatsoever.

There are, as I’ve said, different kinds of love. But not all loves are the same. And this is where a lot of us make our mistake. Just because we love someone, howbeit conditionally, we feel like we’ve fulfilled our Christian duty to love. We’re obeying God!  But that’s just the problem. IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER CONDITIONALLY, THEN WE’VE GOT THE WRONG KIND OF LOVE! AND EVEN THOUGH WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER TO SOME EXTENT, WE’RE STILL NOT LOVING ONE ANOTHER THE WAY GOD WANTS US TO LOVE. WE STILL HAVEN’T LIVED UP TO, OR OBEYED, CHRIST’S COMMAND TO AGÁPE LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

  • THE LOVE THAT GOD WANTS US TO HAVE IS NOT BASED ON HUMAN EMOTION. Rather, it’s based on an act of our will. We choose to love regardless of feelings. Agápe love, brethren, isn’t a feeling. So much of human love involves feeling; it’s an emotion. But agápe love isn’t a feeling primarily. It has feeling, of course. But first and foremost, AGÁPE IS AN ACT OF THE WILL, IT’S A DELIBERATE DECISION ON YOUR PART TO LOVE YOUR BRETHREN NO MATTER WHAT.
  • THE LOVE THAT GOD WANTS US TO HAVE IS NOT BASED ON CIRCUMSTANCES. Our love is conditional. It’s dependent on how people behave. People change. And when they change for the worse, i.e. when they quit being nice to us; we quit loving them. But God doesn’t want us loving one another this way. He wants us to love each other unconditionally. Brethren, it’s possible to love people and to keep on loving them in spite of what they believe, how they live, how they behave, or how they treat us.
  • THE LOVE THAT GOD WANTS US TO HAVE IS NOT TO BE SHORT-LIVED OR COME TO AN END.  We’re not supposed to quit loving one another.  This leads me to the second problem with conditional love.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 2. A continuing look at what’s wrong with conditional love. Drop by for a visit next week and, together, let’s put an end to the cycle of heartache, hatred and alienation.