The Invisible List 

of Requirements

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

We live in a world that judges everyone based on performance. The earthly system is taught to us the moment we have the ability to reason. Think about it. When you were growing up if you didn’t behave, you were either spanked or put in time out. In school, you were graded based on your performance. Once you hit the real world; your career, your income, and your wealth determined how people treated you and perceived you. 

 

This same system carries over in our personal grading system that determines if someone is worthy of our affection or attention without us even realizing it. Think about the relationships around you. Why do you love some people more than others? Have you stopped loving someone, or removed them from your life because of something they did or said? Or did you completely stop talking to someone or do you resent someone because they made one or two mistakes although they did 100 things right? 

 

In my case, when I was a part of this system, unbeknownst to me, I carried my own list of requirements. I loved some more than others based on my invisible list of requirements. And only until they filled my list of requirements would I grade them worthy enough of my affection and attention. Oh, but if they made just one mistake, although they filled all 39 of those 40 requirements, I would remove them immediately. And not just remove them from my life, I would make sure they knew they crossed the line and if they wanted that spot back in my life, they would have to work my invisible list of requirements from the bottom up. 

 

Some of us have severed relationships with family, friends, and even parents based on this system. I am sure most of these people did 100 things right, but the few mistakes they made are the ones we hold over their heads. 

 

What we don't see is that everyone is a work in progress. We are all evolving. Think about this. When you were 10, did you still like the same toys and had the same mentality you did as when you were 5? Of course not. Even your choice of friends changed and the way you viewed the world changed. How about when you turned 20? At 20 did you still have the same mentality as you did when you were 15? Of course not. 


 

Though some do mature faster than others, evolution is inevitable. Evolution is part of our design. We fail and make mistakes, but we learn, and we embrace change as a result. So, if this is true about us, why do we label someone based on the few mistakes they made? We are not our mistakes. Mistakes are not our identity. If you accept this about yourself, why use a mistake system on others? 

 

What does all this mean? It means most humans function on a love that is completely based on a system that grades mistakes making it a CONDITIONAL type of love. What does conditional love look like? Like this; “I can’t say "I love you", to just anyone or show them love if they don’t meet my requirements. And if they hurt me, I will stop loving them until they make up for it. That's if I even give them the opportunity to win me back.” 

 

Everyone carry’s their very own invisible list of requirements to determine who is worthy of their love and to what degrees they will love, or at what point they will hit the eject button. And most of us don't even know that is how we view love! This type of love is not unconditional. It is very conditional and dependent on getting our needs met.  

 

That is… everyone that hasn’t learned the true love of Christ. When you learn the love of Christ you learn that making people work for your love is not how God designed humans to love. Conditional love is not our true nature. Conditional love is the biggest lie that we have all embraced as our truth. Unconditional love is our true nature, that is our truth. Conditional love is the way the world taught us, but not the way we should live if we want to live a life full of joy, peace, health, and love. 

 

I added health to the benefits of loving unconditionally because there is healing POWER in LOVE. I am sure you know by all the medical reports and research that stress kills. However, love causes the opposite effect. It produces joy & peace in us! Living bitter because of what someone did to us or what they said is stress! I know this all too well. When I forgave and decided to show love to everyone that ever victimized me, including my sexual abusers, I was healed from my PTSD, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. What I am sharing with you is powerful! Don't shortchange yourself! 

 

Are you carrying your own invisible list of requirements? Use it backwards. If someone did 100 things right, but a few wrong, let them know lovingly about those few mistakes they made and forgive them, and focus on the 100 things they did right. Free yourself and love freely so you too can be healed and freed from all the effects of bitterness! Like the Frozen song says, "Let it go, let it goooooooooo...." 

 

DISCLOSURE: Please note, there will be toxic or dangerous people you will need to keep your distance from in order to keep your sanity or safety. However, it doesn't mean you cannot forgive them, pray for them, or love them from a distance. I recommend using your God-given discernment.