rebelling against low expectations

True Love Is Scary, Radical, And Unconditional


Trust /trəst/ – “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”

Love is a risky thing.

There is no way to love safely, to pour out emotions and hearts and souls into another sinful human being and never come away with a few scrapes and bruises.

Yet, after all is said and done and blows have been dealt on either side, I think we as human beings approach forgiveness and love and trust in the wrong way.

We look at love as if people need to deserve our love first before we grant it.

We scramble to pick up the broken pieces of our own lives and relationships in order to forgive and look past wrongs without ill-intent. And then we attempt to trust again and regain trust but regaining belief and conviction a person that has wronged us is a task that takes time and consistent integrity and effort.

And then, after we can fully forgive and fully trust, then we say we love. Only until we can fully reconcile and overlook past wrongs do we dare to love, to re-gift ourselves.

We are scared.

We are scared to love unconditionally so we put up little parameters, little boxes to check off. First we must be able to forgive, second to trust, and then we can finally check off love.

Love is a risky, dangerous, scary thing, and so we shrink from it to protect ourselves, finding conditions and requirements before we can fully pour ourselves out for another human being.

But God doesn’t love us with prerequisites.

If love has to be deserved or earned, we would never be able to merit the abundant, breathtaking love of God.

He loves us with a radical kind of a love. A love that is not dependent on our response. A love that is unconditional, without conditions.

When we were unlovable, dead in our sins, living in rebellion against Him, and hurting the very One who created us in our rejection of Him, He loved us. He loved us though there was no reason for Him to forgive us.

And because of the riches of His love, He forgave us, piling blessings of grace upon blessing. Because of His love, He saved us, making us right with Him.

Love comes first.

Without love, we cannot hope to overlook past wrongs, because truth is, people have wronged us and we have wronged others. People will break our trust time after time again, and we will never completely deserve the trust of others.

If trust and forgiveness are prerequisites for love, we will never be able to truly love because we are broken people.

If trust and forgiveness are prerequisites for love, we will never be able to be loved because we are broken people.

The past few months I have struggled with trust. Struggled to trust and struggled to earn trust. But I’ve realized that I’ve been approaching trust wrong.

Trust isn’t a prerequisite for love. It is a product of love.

Trust is what love does. Trust is a result of a 1 Corinthians 13 type of a love, a love that is patient, kind, not easily irritated. It comes from a love that endures all things and hopes despite all odds. A love that is long suffering.

God loves us unconditionally, without conditions.

When we begin to love the way God loves, when we look beyond ourselves and love another human being sacrificially with patience and joy, we can trust because we love.

When we patiently work with one another in our weaknesses, when we humbly put the well-being of others before ourselves, when we stifle our anger, when we choose not to bring to mind the faults of others, when we persevere with one another, we can begin to trust and forgive.

I am undeserving of trust and forgiveness. But I receive trust and forgiveness from God and from others around me because they love me more than I could ever deserve.

And in the same way, I desire to love radically, in abandonment of self because that is how my God loves me.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.

Quoted definition provided by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


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About the author

Amanda Chang

is a sophomore studying Intercultural Studies at Biola University. She is interested in pursuing missions and writes occasionally at To Embrace the Nations.


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  • This is a good post… It caught my eye for it’s message – it’s true. True love is Scary – that type of trust is scary – and that’s the beautiful way God loves us. <3

    "See – infatuation doesn't ask anything of you. Love does. Love takes work and self sacrifice. When you love someone, you are opening yourself up to the potential of getting hurt – they see you clear enough to know how to hurt you… When you love, you are agreeing, in a sense, to give up some of what you want, for their best, and to be there for them, no matter how you feel… But you do so because it's worth it… to know and and be known, to love and be loved… To love, in a pale reflection of the way God does. "

    I didn't fall in love with you – I fell into infatuation:

  • Awesome article! This really strikes me because I struggle with shrinking back from loving other people because it hurts. But I think you are right that in order to love we must understand God’s love for us first. I love some of the points you brought out about trust being a product of love, not a prerequisite. Thank you for writing!

  • Wow, I really enjoyed your post, Amanda! I really struggle with giving others my love and trust so this was a good reminder to me to love unconditionally – even when they don’t deserve it. It’s so easy to stay in your little box and not venture out of your comfort zone when you should be reaching out. Thanks!!

  • Thanks Amanda. This is really insightful and helpful – I’m so glad I read it instead of just skipping bits the way I do with a lot of these articles. (I know that’s not such a good idea, but it’s often what I end up doing… ;-D)

    • That is very true. Are love is never true. It is never perfect, and sometimes that can annoy me. Praise God that He’s not an animal!

  • This is an AWESOME article. It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s quote, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

By Amanda Chang
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →