**Disclaimer: this post delves into my personal beliefs centering around religion. If you are uncomfortable reading people’s opinions of faith, I recommend you come back for my post later this evening (12/28/2014). Thanks for visiting!**
**Disclaimer 2: I had to write this while listening to people argue in the next room so it’s going to be hard to understand.**
UNCONDITIONAL: adj. not subject to any conditions; absolute. Many of you have heard or even used this word at some point in your life and it is often followed by something like “love” or some other equally appropriate word. This word is also often found in religion, especially of Christian denominations when describing the love Jesus Christ has for the world. Surprisingly enough, Christ’s “unconditional love” is often seen by people outside the religions as the exact opposite. They view it as “do what I say or you’ll go to hell.”
I’m going to write a quick post to argue the point. As a Christian, I not only believe in Christ, but also His unconditional love He has for all people. Race, gender, sexuality, age, and so on are unimportant to Christ and therefore do not hinder one’s ability to receive the love that is pouring from His ever-flowing fount. “Well, then what are the rules and commandments for?” some argue. “Why would someone who claims to love you without condition then go and tell you what to do and what not to do?”
My answer would be something like this: “Why would any parent ever tell their children what to do and what not to do?” Think about it. Really think about it. Why? Why would a parent say “Hey. Don’t do drugs.”? Is it because that parent doesn’t want their child to have fun? Is it because that parent is a stick in the mud? Or is it, perhaps, because that parent doesn’t want their child to get hurt, to become reckless or dependent, and so on. Well, say the child goes and does some drugs. Just a little weed or something. No biggie, right? Maybe not to the kid, but what about the parent? Does the parent just go “Well, I asked you not to do that, but that’s okay.” Probably not. The parent will more than likely be disappointed. The parent might even be hurt by their child’s disobedience. For this reason, the parent takes away the kid’s cell phone (that the parents pay for). So how does this mean they stop loving their child? Really. I want to know.
Granted, being sent to Hell is a bit worse than getting one’s cell phone privileges revoked. So let’s look at that for a moment.
In my personal belief, not necessarily doctrine from my faith, Hell is a state of being, of mind, of soul. It’s not a place. And God does not put us there. Our Father, our Creator, would never, ever send us to hell, no matter what evil we have committed against Him and His children, our fellow man. So then why does it say “sinners shall be damned” in various ways throughout the bible and other holy texts? Well, because that’s what will happen when we leave God. God, our Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, set up a perfect plan to allow us, the most imperfect of people to return to God’s presence and live eternally with Him and His Son and all others who follow His teachings. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve heard that before. But I’m basically just proving your point, right? No. Look deeper.
God does not put us in hell (this is my theory). Right? When we abandon Him, when we stray, when we go down a path that isn’t what He had intended for us, He can no longer bless us. Not that He doesn’t want to, or that He doesn’t love us, but that it wouldn’t be fair. How could it be? Just stabbed your neighbor? Oh, well, no biggie. God loves you. Here’s a bunch of good things to make your perfect life even better. No. Just… No. You don’t reward dogs when they pee on the furniture. You don’t reward children when they throw a fit in the store. You don’t give rewards to those who are deliberately disobeying you.
So maybe you don’t like all of God’s commandments. I’m certainly at odds with a few of them (very deep post coming soon). But He’s God. He’s a pure and perfect being who knows everything and probably knows what will keep us safe, happy, healthy, sane, and so on. Why would He ever do or command things that were not for our benefit? It doesn’t make sense. He loves us. He loves you. He wants nothing more than for you to be happy. That’s why we are free to do things His way or our own way. And yes, He supports whatever decision you make, at least in the sense that He will not interfere. He loves us more than we can ever understand, more than we are capable of receiving or even comprehending. His love moves mountains, parts oceans, and raises the dead. But that’s not what truly makes this love special.
What makes it so special is this: He will always love you, now and forever, no matter who you are, who you were, or who you will become. You are His child and He knows you better than you know yourself. He will always love you. You may not put yourself in a position where you are receptive to that love and that makes Him sad. He wants nothing more than for you to be happy. If you think you can happy on your own, by golly, do that! Don’t conform to someone else’s prescription of happy pills. They won’t work for you. Don’t follow something you have no faith in. Don’t do that which makes you miserable.
But do not forget, even if it doesn’t feel like it, He still loves you. I have seen it in my life. I am undeserving of His love, of his gifts, and yet, every day, there are things I cannot explain that happen because He is watching over me. I make bad choices and right now The Man in the Sky and I aren’t really on speaking terms. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He does love me, now and forever. Forever. Can you imagine? What a vast and powerful thing. I am grateful for that love in my life and for the example it is in my life.
Whether you’re Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or Atheist or whatever you identify as; whether you’re homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or pansexual; whether you’re American, French, Iraqi, or Canadian; whether you’re white, black, yellow, or red; whatever you are, whoever you are, and whatever you choose to be, I will love you. I will always love you. You are amazing. You are beautiful. You have unlimited potential. You are a Child of God and that not only makes you royalty, that makes you my family. Agree with me or not, I still love you. Everyone matters. You matter.
Thanks for reading. And remember: if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!
TL;DR — You’re amazing and I love you all. God loves you too and stuff.