The idea of unconditional love appeals to many people, but actually practicing the concept? Not so much.
At first, when researching miracles associated with near-death experiences, I was shocked to discover that being an NDE survivor increased the risk of divorce and other relationship problems. Since people tend to become much more loving after going through NDEs, it makes sense that their relationships with family and friends would improve as a result. But, too often, their relationships broke down after they came back to life. Why? The culprit seems to be the fact that they choose to love unconditionally in a world where love is usually expressed with conditions attached. Quite simply, many people become uncomfortable when they encounter unconditional love, because it challenges them to respond in kind, and loving without limits is challenging for most of us.
This is hitting home for me as the holiday season approaches. My extended family is still struggling with dysfunction that continues to lead to gossip, slander, and exclusion despite the efforts of some of us to work for healing. I’m learning that although unconditional love is a valuable goal, some people are so stuck in unhealthy ways of thinking that they can’t achieve that goal until they’re willing to turn for God to help — and that decision is one that only they can make for themselves.
But the good news is that each of us has the power to make that choice. Even when others don’t respond, it’s always worth choosing to love.
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