It seems that we attach unconditional a little too easily. It’s one of those words that sounds good, as long as you don’t take it seriously.

Lately I’ve been participating in a year-long conference in which a basic principle is Unconditional Positive Respect (UPR). The idea is that every individual merits UPR, regardless of behavior, beliefs, or even whether that person returns the respect. I observe that even among participants who claim to embrace the notion, we’re much better at describing UPR than demonstrating it.

In Christian circles we talk about unconditional love. We proclaim that those who follow Jesus receive unconditional grace and forgiveness. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not always good at receiving or reflecting either.

I’m afraid I tend to unintentionally attach conditions to those concepts I believe to be unconditional. Even worse, I’m tempted to think that unconditional violates some universal sense of justice. I get it for most folks, but does that guy really deserve forgiveness, respect, or love?

And of course I’m right—that guy doesn’t deserve any of them.

And neither do I.

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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