Consequences are built into the process of life. We cannot avoid the positive or negative consequences of our choices.
However, love is not an automatic consequence. Love is a choice we make and then we face the consequences that come from it. This is the rub. For what if the response to our love is rejection, abuse, and/or scorn?
Yet, this fear of rejection keeps many from loving as God intends and desires us to. This was definitely true for me, but we are reminded in the Psalms that even though our father and mother may forsake us, the Lord always receives us (Psalms 27:10).
This is a powerful truth of reassurance and confidence. God’s love always receives and never forsakes. He is with us through thick and thin.
Can the same be said for our love? Does it always receive others and stick through the hard and good times? Through the heartaches and irritations? Or is our love conditional on another’s behavior and responses towards us?
For example, do we withhold our love when our children are displeasing, or disobedient? Or is our love given only when our spouses are meeting our needs and desires?
If our choices impact our consequences, what might happen if we chose to love courageously, and dared to love not like the world loves, which is fickle, but as Christ chooses to love us – sacrificially and unconditionally?
What might this love do for our children, marriages, and relationships? To risk being vulnerable and exposed, rejected and betrayed, but loving anyway?
My prayer is to be less concerned with my self preservation, and more reliant on God’s promises and protection. To rely on His unwavering love and to share it boldly with others. To live less guarded and more inviting – risking exposure, but hopeful that the consequences of loving others more like Christ will also reap a better return than choosing to remain guarded, or conditional ever could.