Last night I was reading my daily devotional on my YouVersion app. It was entitled God Approves of You! I want to share that devotional with you.
Nobody knows you as well as God does. Yet even though He knows everything about you, including all of your faults, He still approves of you and accepts you. God sees your heart, not just the exterior shell (the flesh) that seems to get you into so much trouble. He does not approve of your wrong behavior, but He is committed to you as an individual. God can hate what you do and yet love you. He has no trouble keeping the two separated.
God never intended for you to feel bad about yourself. He wants you to know yourself well and yet accept yourself. You must be able to say, "I can love what God can love. I don't love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me." God is changing you daily. Ask Him to help you accept and love yourself in spite of your imperfections.
(From Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer)
As I was reading this, the story of the adulterous woman kept coming to mind. In John 8, a crowd of people brings a woman who was caught is the act of adultery to Jesus in order to trap Him. They asked Jesus what they should do with the woman since the law demanded that she be stoned. Jesus stooped down and began to write on the ground. They continued to question Jesus and He said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to thrown the stone." Then he stooped down and began writing on the ground once again. The crowd slowly began to disperse until only the woman and Jesus stood there. He stood up and asked her where the people had gone and had they not condemned her. She answered that no one had. His response was this "Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."
To me this is a wonderful of story of how God approves of who we are but does not like what we do. He approves of her, but because He does not like what she is doing, He tells her to stop living that lifestyle. This is my definition of unconditional love, accepting someone even if you don't agree with what they are doing.