Thursday

Reflection: If I withdraw my love . . .

If I withdraw my love from one follower of Jesus, I withdraw my love from all of them.

If I don't love Sue, I don't love Steve.  Neither merits my love more than the other.  Both are wretched and redeemed.  If I say that Steve is easier to love, don't I really mean that I enjoy Steve more?  Don't I really refer to what Steve has done for me?  In which case, I am not really loving Steve at all.  I am only loving what Steve does and can do for me.  I am loving myself.  Self-love.


If I withdraw my love from one follower of Jesus, I withdraw my love from all of them.

Christians crucified Christ.  All of us.  Yet he does not withhold His love from any of us.  Because He finds no reason to love us, His love does not depend upon us.  His love comes to us without condition.  Thus, there can be no condition for its removal.  Jesus finds no reason to remove his love from any of his followers.  How can I? If He hasn't stopped loving Sue, what right have I to stop loving? And if I do, my love to all of God's people becomes suspect.  If I can come up with a reason to stop loving one, it would surely prove to be a selfish reason.  It might be a reason for many things, but it cannot be a reason to stop loving.  If there can be a reason for me to withdraw my love when there cannot be a reason for Christ to withdraw His, my love proves to be merely self-love.

If I withdraw my love from one follower of Jesus, I withdraw my love from all of them.

I might say that I love Steve more than I love Sue, but what can I say about them that goes deeper than that together they crucified Christ and that both alike are unconditionally loved by Him.  If I withdraw my love from Sue, I have introduced conditions to my love.  But it is impossible to love one person conditionally and one unconditionally.  By withdrawing my love from Sue, perhaps because of her behavior, I have cheapened my love for Steve.  Now, as much as I may feel my love for him, it is only if he toes the line.  My love proves conditional, selfish.  It is self-love.

2 comments:

  1. Thought you might. Found it in an old journal of mine as I was trying to organize my office a bit today. These were some reflections that came out of my reading of Julian of Norwich's "Shorter Text", chapter 6.

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