I just finished a really interesting little book by David Powlison, God's Love. He makes the powerful point that God's love is so much better than unconditional. God's love isn't the wishy, washy stuff of the unconditional love touted by the psycho-babble of our culture. Powlison says God's love is too great and strong, too wonderful to be unconditional. If I understand what Powlison is saying (and I think I do), then the love God has for me and for you does ask for something in return. God wants our hearts! God wants to change who and what we are with His incredible, life-giving and life-altering love!
In C.S. Lewis' classic tale The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe there is a scene when Lucy asks Mr. Beaver whether Aslan (the great lion from beyond the sea) is safe. Lucy is concerned. Mr. Beaver tells her quite seriously, "No, he isn't safe but he is good."
What a beautiful picture of God's love Lewis paints: God's love isn't safe. God's love changes us to the very core of our being. God's love pushes our hearts to move from our zone of comfort to go places and take extreme risks for the sake of God's Kingdom. Empowered by God's love we dare to be salt and light! God's love pushes me (and you) to be and do all God's love is changing us to be and be able to do. God's love propels me out of safe into the grand adventure of knowing and loving God and showing God's love to a dark and dying world.
Powlison says, "Unconditional love feels safe, but the problem is that there is no power to it." (p. 6)
God's love isn't safe. It wasn't safe for Jesus. God's love embodied in the Person of His dearly loved Son Jesus intrudes intimately, personally and actively to every dark corner of my heart exposing my sin and shame and then changing my heart so I too can reflect His love to a watching world. God never accepts me just as I am leaving me to "be"! God loves me (and you) too much not to radically change who and what we are for our good and for His glory! That may not be safe, but it sure isn't sorry!