For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)
The other day I was thinking about the whole concept of giving and taking. I thought it was interesting how we tend to criticize takers, but the truth is that without takers, givers wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. If we try to give but no one is taking what we give, our giving is fruitless.
We typically reflect on takers in a negative way. They take but never give. I guess we would see them in a better light if we describe them as receivers.
I considered how God was so willing to give His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. But what if no one ever actually received His gift? Obviously, the consequence would be that we’d all wind up in Hell, totally condemned for our sins. Perish the thought!
Have you noticed how much easier it is to love someone who loves you in return? Of course, you have; it’s what we expect. Unfortunately, there are times when our acts of love and kindness are not reciprocated. Now what?
The solution to this dilemma is really quite simple when we look at God’s Word. Romans 5:8 tells us: This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other (NLT). This is what loving unconditionally is all about. The definition of agape, the God-kind of love, is the act of deliberately giving oneself to meet the needs of another person. This is the kind of love this passage of scripture is speaking of. In other words, it doesn’t matter so much what your spouse, or anyone else, does or doesn’t do, you must still choose to love. There are definitely risks involved. And this is where we need those takers or receivers to feel validated.
Here’s the thing, though. The risk we take when we choose to love unconditionally is rejection. God took that risk when, while we were still in our sin, Jesus died for us. Being the omniscient One He is, He knew that many would reject His love. That, however, did not stop Him. He was still willing to take the risk.
Remember, God didn’t wait until we were perfect before He gave us His greatest sacrifice. He loved us as though we already were! As challenging as that sounds, He wants us to do the same. Trust me, this cannot be done in our own human power; it requires the power of God.
When we choose to do things God’s way and love unconditionally, He blesses our obedience. Scripture teaches us that to know God is to love Him, and to love God is to obey Him.
Let’s not shy away from giving that love. Even if we don’t receive a visible return immediately, let’s still be willing to obey God. Who knows? Your demonstration of love may turn those receivers into givers, themselves.
So, to all those takers out there, this is an opportunity to take and not be criticized. Givers need takers. And to all those givers out there, remember it is more blessed to give than to receive according to Acts 20:35. (Pam)