While pondering the special love Julia and I had for each other, I realized that its roots lay in the fact that we “knew” each other and yet still “loved” each other. Through the Gospel, we came to recognize that we were sinful individuals that could love conditionally at best, and it was only with God’s help that we could sincerely love each other unconditionally. God is the only One that can love us in this manner and has proved His love is unconditional. For a Father to send his perfect Son to die for ungrateful selfish sinners while they opposed Him by mocking, spitting and torturing Him is genuine unconditional love. Remember what Jesus said as He was being beaten and crucified: Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing Lk 23:34.
Most relationships are based on cover-ups, for we feel, if other people really “knew” the real us, they would never love us. So we live our lives covering up our inadequacies in our physical, emotional, mental and social natures to be declared acceptable.
There are areas of cover-up that I still struggle with, especially in the physical realm. I always like to wear a hat and take my glasses off when someone is taking a picture of me. I guess, I don’t want people thinking, wow george has lost most of his hair and his glasses make him look really old. If I expose my true physical self (let me be known), I subconsciously believe people would have a lower opinion of me and would love me less so I keep as much negative information from them so that I will still be loved and respected. This kind of thinking is mentioned in the Bible in 1 Sa 16:7.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.
When I focus on God and only care what He thinks about me, it frees me from my prison and allows me to love others with His type of love. The concept of Hell is really the same thing. The lock in Hell is on the inside not the outside. Those that end up in Hell will be there because they were too proud or unwilling to admit to God, from their heart, that they were sinners, and that they were not willing to live dependently upon God. It’s just like people with strong addictions, they can be told by all their friends and family that this addiction will kill you, but they willfully want to continue in it and lock the door from the inside, not allowing help to set them free. Similarly, to say God sends people to Hell, is missing part of the truth. He has provided the only way out of Hell by sending his Son to die for the sins we committed. If we refuse this free gift, it is not God who has locked the door but us, for He is giving us exactly what we want, our independence, to do what we want, whenever we want.
Each Christmas God offers the greatest gift one could ever receive: His Son. But instead of gratefully receiving, not only do we refuse it, we make up a false rival, Santa Claus, and teach our children the lie that he is the greatest giver of all time. Santa Claus can only give gifts that will give temporal happiness and that quickly fades from significance but God’s gift is a relationship that will last for eternity and produces joy and peace, unmatched by anyone or anything in this world. This Christmas, open your eyes to the Truth, unlock your prison door, experience real life and begin to enjoy the greatest Christmas gift ever given, Jesus Christ!