Love only works when there is a choice to reject. Love can’t be mandated and it can’t be the only option. In order to be legitimate, it has to be vulnerable. Otherwise, it isn’t love, its manipulation.
Love allows for choices that are contrary to love’s best intentions. It opens up the possibility of disagreement and allows for the consequences of those disagreements to unfold naturally. Love doesn’t attempt to control the outcome for the preservation of the comfort of one party or the other.
God is love. It is His nature. The expression of His nature is not controlling nor manipulative. It doesn’t constrain those who He wants to realize His love by attempting to spread His love via rules, laws or control. He invites us into His love and we get to decide if we want the benefit of that relationship or would prefer to go it alone. His love allows us to choose for ourselves.
God’s love is full of grace. None of us earned it or deserve it as we are working from depravity prior to our knowledge of His grace and love. We are fortunate recipients of a love that exceeds any boundaries of our choices prior to knowing Him. We get the benefit without having paid the price and without having earned it by our choices within any framework of laws. That’s the whole idea of Jesus, the Kingdom and the New Covenant.
Once we know His love, however, we often want to apply a different standard in our attempts to get others to know His love. We want them to behave in accordance with our beliefs. The problem is that when we attempt to convince someone of His love by the correcting their behavior, we are operating in a way that is contrary to the way that God loves us.
We can’t receive grace and impose law with any hope of being effective advocates of grace. It’s either grace or law, not some muddy mixture of both deployed at our own discretion for our own agenda. Let’s let God be love and let His love have its way in us as we re-present Him to the world.