Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Unconditional Love

“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.” (Psalm 25:7 NIV)

One of the most excruciating things about entering adulthood is recalling the very dumb, stupid, and often hurtful things you did when you were young.  Some of us have done more than others, but none are immune to the foolishness of youth, including David.

This prayer is a prayer for unconditional love.  When we truly love someone, we tend to forget his or her offenses against us over time. They recede into the background, replaced by fresher, more pleasant memories, which are reinforced by our default image of the person. Like when we first fall in love with someone, the things he or she does wrong are easily forgotten because they are overwhelmed by the feelings of love.

Unconditional love is like that.  Above all, the person is the focus of our love, over-shadowing everything else.  So David prays the Lord will not remember his sins and rebellious ways, but will remember him.  Don’t focus on my sins; focus on me.  And isn’t that what we want?

I don’t want to have my sins continually held over my head nor do I want to be defined by them.  But that is what will happen if I am not loved unconditionally.  Others will do it and we will even do it to ourselves.  Our identity becomes entwined forever with past actions. This is bondage of the highest order and only unconditional love can set us free.

David knew this and so he cries out to the Lord to be remembered for who he is—a child of God—not for what he has done.  And when this prayer is prayed honestly and with humility, the Lord responds with grace and mercy because He, too, wants to focus on us rather than on our sin. 

Today, regardless of what you have done in the past, no matter how stupid or hurtful, know the Lord doesn’t want to define you by that.   He desires to focus on you His child rather than on the rebellious things you have done.  That is the essence of unconditional love and it is yours to have through God’s love and mercy.

© Jim Musser 2015

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