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Unconditional (Puppy) Love

by | Jun 3, 2024 | God's Love

I’m not sure if you’ve ever owned a dog or cat, but if you have or if you’ve ever had regular exposure to said pets, I’m guessing you’ve experienced their unconditional love from time to time. It doesn’t matter if they’ve done something wrong and require discipline, or if they’ve gotten into your sock drawer and shredded each and every woolly. You might have even raised your voice in anger or given them a time out in a pet designated naughty corner. The thing is, our four-legged friends don’t hold grudges or think poorly of us when receiving a bawling out. In fact, they can very quickly and unconditionally love you back without resentment or judgment.

I have a grand-pup Golden Retriever whose name is Charlie Brown. He’s a spunky 2-year-old and just like a toddler, he can be cute and cuddly one minute and ornery the next. He’s obedient most of the time and is still learning his boundaries and where he fits into the family dynamics. My daughter and son-in-law are working with him each day, but like our occasional head-strong human offspring, man’s best friend can present a bevy of white-knuckle challenges when getting into mischief. Still, we love our pets and more often than not, they adore us back even when we lose our tempers with them.

When Charlie has a toy in his mouth and bops me in the back end to play with him, or when he nuzzles in for a butt scratch or cuddle, I can’t help drawing a comparison that I’m certain you knew was coming. Did you know that Jesus Christ loves us without stipulations? We can mess us, disobey and spill our food and water all over the floor, but our Saviour never turns His back on us. He’s there each and every time with outstretched arms to love and comfort us no matter the crimes we’ve committed or mess we repeatedly make of things. Did you know that even the Apostle Paul struggled with messing up?

“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”  (Romans 7: 14, 15 NLT)

And just as God loves us unconditionally when we repeatedly slip up and do what we know we shouldn’t, we are also taught to love others in their wrongdoing the same way as Jesus loves and accepts us in ours.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

No question that Charlie Brown loves his grandpa and everyone else he encounters in his daily routine of play, eat and sleep—oh, and getting into trouble! It’s incredible to me that Jesus Christ loves us a zillion times more than a pet to its master, and as we go about our daily lives, love without Terms and Conditions fine print at the bottom of the page is the best love of all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go and visit Charlie Brown for some no ifs ands or but, unconditional love! And praise be to our Lord and Savior for His unwavering devotion to us!

Paul Smyth