I've been reading Blue Like Jazz lately. I loathe that book. It convicts me everytime I read it. Sometimes it convicts me more than the Bible. It certainly convicts me more than going to church.
In almost every chapter something sticks out to me that I need to work on. Tonight it was the idea of conditional love. I realized that I give love out based on only selfish reasons. If you talk to me and give me your time, I'll love you. If I have something to gain from having a friendship with you, I'll love you. If you are a good person, I'll love you. However, if none of these three conditions is true than I'll be nice to you. I'll placate you. But forget getting "true love" from me.
While this sounds awful and shallow, there is even something worse than that. I view God's love as conditional. If I'm a nice person who goes to church and helps out, God will love me. If I sin and mess up, God will hate me. Or at least that's what I think. Which explains why I don't feel like God loves me too often. Because I'm not that good of a person. I don't deserve His love.
And I don't. Yet He loves me anyway. So I must start to love others whether they have "earned" my love or not. If someone hurts me I need to love them anyway. If I'm disappointed I need to love them as well. If I seemingly have nothing to gain from someone, I will love them as well. To do that I'm going to have to learn true love. Perhaps removing the conditions on love is a good place to start.