A while ago I talked about conditional love, about how I operate all of relationships out of this framework.
But I wanted to be more clear on what conditional love towards yourself looks like (which even feels weird to type).
But how many of us give up on ourselves? How many of us would give up on ourselves when things get really difficult. As much as I do this in relationships (and I am really praying and trying to get better at that), I do it to myself.
I look at the pain I cause others, myself and God, and I give my self-conditions to get my act together before a certain deadline (these deadlines can be a few months to a year usually), to get rid of my depression or to become less annoying, less needy, less sinful. The problem is, is that I will never be able to do you this, I will never be able pay for my own sin by my works, by a deadline, it’s one deadline that i’m doomed to never complete the work before it passes.
And because I know I will never be able to pay for it, when I don’t meet the conditions, I give up on myself and by extension I give up on God. I tell him that even though I know he paid for my sins and failure so that I can live in right relationship with him, so that I can live in freedom, I almost can’t except it, I try to put the shackles back on because it doesn’t make sense. It isn’t comfortable. You would think freedom is, but honestly? Its scary. Because freedom from sin, one means that by Gods grace you recognise it (and that part is never fun), and then you can rest in his ultimate amazing grace.
And I think, is that it God? I didn’t make the cut, I didn’t meet the deadline (my deadline I might add), and all I need to do is rest in Christ, in you?
It doesn’t make sense, and I don’t deserve it. Surely we should get what we deserve right? I know I don’t want to go to hell, but surely I can contribute something to my salvation? It would make this freedom slightly less uncomfortable, slightly less terrifying.
But thats the beauty of the gospel, we don’t deserve it. In fact we deserve punishment. It would make sense for me to have to earn my salvation. To have to stick to the conditions and have God give up on me like I give up on myself.
But that isn’t what God is saying. That isn’t what Jesus came to earth to do. I may give up on myself, give in to my depression, or give in the struggles of this life, but Jesus never will. And I can ask him, why, I can question what on earth he is doing.
But at the end of the day, my wonderings, failings and self condemnation doesn’t change the fact and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and Its for freedom Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1)