Posted by: Judy | May 17, 2016

Meme debunking

It’s been a while.

The first meme:

Don’t cross oceans for people who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you.

I don’t know where this started, but plenty of abuse survivors understand the need to stop crossing the ocean. The ones who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you have no problem watching you drown. Some of them enjoy the show.

I’d reached the point I didn’t need to shout “Yes” when I saw this anymore.

Recently, this second meme made the rounds on social media:

Don’t cross oceans for people who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you.

No, do it. Do cross oceans for people. Love people, all people. No conditions attached, no wondering whether or not they’re worthy. Cross oceans, climb mountains. Life and love isn’t about what you gain, it’s about what you give.

I understand the reasoning of those who created this one. They want to embrace life fully. They see the good in the world, and it’s wonderful. They believe love conquers all.

Every time I saw it I wanted to scream, “You missed the point!” I chose to never respond to this meme. I was afraid I’d launch into a rant. It keeps nattering at my brain, so I’m dumping my rant here.

I believe Love conquers all. God wins. That doesn’t mean there aren’t casualties along the way. Turning a blind eye to evil doesn’t protect anyone and definitely doesn’t magically heal anyone.

I confess I agree with much of the meme. In fact, as I read through it, I agree with almost all of it. The value of love cannot be underestimated.

However, one little phrase is the stickler. I understand the sentiment. I also think it’s unwise. No conditions attached.

I agree but to a limit. Yes, conditionally.

A lifeguard knows that if the drowning victim fights them, then it’s better to knock them out than to allow the victim to drown them both. The victim must allow the lifeguard to do the work. A life-saving condition attached.

Healthy, loving parents will go to astonishing lengths to save a child. Parents will put their child first and willingly sacrifice their own lives. However, on a flight, the attendant advises parents to put their air mask on first, before putting it on the child or both may be lost. The parent must go against their desire to put their child first in order to save the child. This is an attached condition.

An abused husband or wife cannot love a spouse unconditionally. In order to survive, they must establish attached conditions. Sometimes, the condition means no contact.

When I see people say “love unconditionally” the definition I hear is “love without boundaries.”

In a world filled with people who unintentionally violate boundaries and people who have no trouble violating boundaries and even take pleasure in it, advising love without boundaries or conditions is inviting abuse.

Yes, I hear those chanting at me that God loves us unconditionally. Yes, and no. His love is limitless and beyond our understanding. He loves us no matter what, even those people who screw up and choose evil. However, though His love knows no limits, living with Him again requires meeting certain conditions. He repeatedly states that He will not tolerate sin. Yes, Jesus paid the price for our sin, but we must give it to Him and follow Him.

Jesus plainly states: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” He has placed a condition on our love for Him.

If Jesus has set boundaries for us in order to live with Him, and we are to follow Him, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we should set boundaries for those who live with us? Ought not we pattern our lives after His? I want to think on this one some more.

For the record: “Unconditional” is nowhere in the Bible.

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