Psychologist Carl Rogers (1902-1987) coined the phrase “unconditional positive regard” to describe the attitude he believed a therapist should express toward his client. According to Rogers, this involves showing complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what that person says or does. The therapist places no conditions on this acceptance.
This is a really hard thing to do for another person. But it’s a beautiful thing when it happens. Hopefully you have at least one person in your life who regularly expresses unconditional positive regard for you.
But the only one we consistently experience this from is God.
I know that the phrase “unconditional positive regard” isn’t found in the Bible. But maybe it should be! Because it captures God’s love so well.
God loves us
- with patience and compassion
- as we are: suffering, confused, broken
- without manipulation or judgment
God is really good at unconditional positive regard.
It doesn’t roll off the tongue, I know. Can you image the following benediction?
May the unconditional positive regard of God be with you this day and always.
I won’t be saying that at the end of a worship service any time soon. But I think it is a helpful way to think about our relationship with God and our relationship with other people.
Who in your life treats you with unconditional positive regard?
How have you experienced the unconditional positive regard of God?
-Written by Rev. Amy Miracle
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