How to Love Unconditionally by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

It’s been one of those stretches. People I was trying to book for our television show didn’t get back to me. Hurtful things were said by a couple others and another person I know complained about one of my personality traits. Combined with the underlying stress of COVID, ministry deadlines and an approaching final at school, the dam broke. After our POP Chat event on Wednesday night, I had one of those ugly cries and I couldn’t stop crying. Swollen eyes. Mascara streaming down the face. I hadn’t cried like that in years and one of our team members, a leadership coach, had to guide me out of the abyss.

But it was like the flood of tears did something miraculous. It washed away the negative thinking and gave me a new perspective on all that happened.

God then put the people who I was “offended” by in front of me again as if to say, “Give them another chance. See them through My eyes.” The people who didn’t respond to my emails about the television show, finally did, and now they are booked for the program. They had a good excuse for their silence. I actually saw one of them randomly at a restaurant. What are the odds? Once again the LORD spoke, You didn’t choose these guests for your show. I did, and now I am confirming it.

Meanwhile I was reminded that oftentimes, when individuals are sharp or less than complimentary, it often comes out of their own woundedness. God says “love is patient” and that means to have a heart of compassion for them, not judgment.

I read a verse this week that really spoke to me, especially since I am in school. It say, “But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church” (1 Corinthians 8:1). At that moment, I prayed, Lord, please don’t let me get so caught up in my studies that I don’t have time to love Your people. And it was after this prayer that God gave me the practical experience in unconditional love.

Jesus commands us in John 13:34 to love others as he has loved us. I know that I have probably offended Jesus, irritated him, turned my back on him, haven’t given him the time I should—so many things. But He still loves me and that is how we need to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If there is someone in your world that gets under your skin, ask God to see this person through His eyes and to help you love him or her like He loves them. I promise it will be a valuable lesson you will never forget.

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