Paul's conversion brought him the joy of unconditional love. That has to be one reason Paul was so content in his new faith. He discovered what it is to be loved unconditionally. Nothing in this world is more pitiful than the person who is unsure he or she is loved.
It has been observed that most emotional problems can be summed up in the kind of behavior where a person walks around screaming, "For God's sake, love me." Such feelings are formed in the earliest years of our lives. As children we are constantly seeking approval from the significant people in our lives. If those significant people show their approval for us only when we do things right, then the message we get is that when you are good, you are loveable. When you are not good, you are not loveable. Love, then, is something you earn. If you have to live up to my expectations to win my love, that's conditional love.
Rigid obedience to the Law makes God's love appear to be conditional. The message of such faith is, "I love you only when you are obedient, only when you are sinless, only when you measure up to My standards." Can you imagine what a giant leap of understanding it represented when Paul was able to write in his letter to the Romans, "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." That's a special kind of love, isn't it? It's unconditional love. There is life-changing power in unconditional love.
Lord God, help me to give unconditional love like you have given to me. Amen. Ron Newhouse