Friday, March 18, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Why we should love people unconditionally

Unconditional Love and Angels Unaware
A devotional by Erin M. Handley

“Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”–Hebrews 13:2 (NASB)

Love. It is a small yet powerful word. It is both a feeling and an action. It takes on a lot of meanings, but they are all rooted in how God loves His own. He calls His children to love others the same way He loves us: unconditionally.

Loving unconditionally can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Showing love is easy when it is mutual. When it is a shared decision between like-minded people, it rarely requires much thought.

The intention to love others is mostly instinctive when it does not feel like a burdensome task. It seems easier to love when there is a heightened level of awareness of the person or situation. It can be easier to love an individual who may be difficult to get along with when you understand the root of their contentiousness and you decide to love them beyond their flaws. 

However, in order to love unconditionally the decision must be made to show love relentlessly regardless of the person or specific situation. To love unconditionally means love is exhibited with no restrictions, no requirements, and no expectations.

The tricky thing about loving unconditionally is that sometimes we may feel like we are showing love without it being reciprocated. Committing to love others as God calls us to can sometimes seem overwhelming and tiresome. Loving unconditionally can be difficult to do when you find yourself walking away from situations feeling unappreciated or taken advantage of. It can be a hard thing to do, but doing so shows the love of Jesus Christ to those who need to see it. It is easy to talk about, but we often don’t understand what it means until we experience it firsthand.

But what about those who find themselves feeling unappreciated? They love others relentlessly without it being reciprocated. Over time, they find themselves looking for a silver lining; something to remind them of their purpose. They desire encouragement to continue loving with the heart of God even when the work can feel like it is done with no purpose.

If this resonates with you, please be encouraged by this: “Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2 NASB).

It can seem hard to continue loving others during their darkest hours. But be encouraged by knowing that God sends His angels to you just when you need their presence. God’s Angels will not mistreat you. Angels will not devalue you. Angels will not allow you to feel unappreciated after they cross your path. You never know when you will entertain them, so make it a best practice to be hospitable to every person you meet. This is how we show the love of God.

Let’s Pray: Lord, you consistently show us what unconditional love is. You always to love us relentlessly. Because we see how you love us, we have the blueprint that guides us and shows us how to love others without limitations or conditions. Thank you for being patient with us as we are learning how to love others unconditionally. Thank you for being so forgiving as we sometimes don’t always love as fiercely as we should. Thank you for your gentle reminders to always love even the strangers who may be the angels you have sent our way. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Erin’s devotional message today reminds me of this song “Angels Unaware” by Michael W. Smith. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

With an ever-growing desire to continually learn the Word of God and present teachings based on Biblical principles, Erin M. Handley is committed to her calling of teaching and inspiring others to ‘be more by doing more’. With this in mind, Erin mentors young women and appreciates seeing the growth and change in the lives she impacts. 

While she sincerely enjoys mentoring and speaking to young people, she is most passionate about educating and empowering women from various stages of life about Biblical Womanhood and how to live out those principles in today’s world.

For over 15 years, Erin has worked with youth and adolescents in the fields of mental and behavioral health, education, and ministry. When reflecting on her experiences in ministry and non-ministry settings, her most memorable encounters have been those that allowed her the opportunity to teach the Word of God in a way that is most relatable to the audience she served in that moment. She has enjoyed writing since her youth, but only recently felt the call to share her writing with the world.

With an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Ministry and Pastoral Counseling, Erin M. Handley has been fortunate to be able to leverage her gifts and her passions throughout her career in Education.

Aside from reading, writing, and mentoring, Erin enjoys dancing, interior design, cooking, and most other activities which allow her to utilize her creativity.

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