David Powlison says, “I’d like to propose that God’s love is much different and better than unconditional. Unconditional love, as most of us understand it, begins and ends with sympathy and empathy, with blanket acceptance. It accepts you as you are with no expectations. You in turn can take it or leave it. But think about what God’s love for you is like. God does not calmly gaze on you in benign affirmation. God cares too much to be unconditional in His love… Such real love is hard to do. It is so different from “You’re okay in my eyes. I accept you just because you’re you, just as I accept everybody. I won’t judge you or impose my values on you.” Unconditional love feels safe, but the problem is that there is no power to it. When we ascribe unconditional love to God, we substitute a teddy bear for the king of the universe… The word “unconditional” may be an acceptable way to express God’s welcome, but it fails to communicate its purpose: a comprehensive and lifelong rehabilitation, learning “the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
God loves us too much to leave us where we are or let us stay the same! The idea that God wouldn’t judge me or impose His values on me is crazy! I NEED His values! I NEED his discipline & judgment! I need a powerful God who meets me where I am, but also one who guides me into what He wants me to become. Yes, His love is unconditional in that He accepts me no matter where I am in my journey, but His love wants so much more for me. It doesn’t stop at “unconditional.” God’s love is beyond unconditional! It’s beyond our understanding! God’s love flows out of His infinite character. God doesn’t just love. He IS LOVE! And He is better than unconditional!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”