Author: Lila Diller – Nov 5,2019
I always heard about agape love in 1 Corinthians 13, but I wondered what it really is? What does it look like in real life? How should it manifest itself in my life?
Agape is one of the 4 Greek words used in the Bible. This is the “highest” form of love, the one that is always used for God. It is a self-sacrificing, unconditional love that does what is best for the object of their love, no matter how it hurts themselves or seems harsh to the object. It is not a feeling but an action, a decision of the will that leads to real actions. Like “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14), so is love. Love is shown by good works. What do these works look like on an everyday level for you and me?
1 Corinthians 13 actually gives us a blue print for how love acts and how it doesn’t act. My “Love is” series takes these practical descriptions and show what they mean in a contemporary setting. For example: “Love is patient” is shown in #3; “Love is not arrogant or rude” is shown in #1; and “Love does not envy or boast” is shown in #2. #4 will show that “Love is not irritable or resentful.”
I was going to list out different ways that this is shown in different relationships, but they really all come down to the same things:
- respect differences
- ask his opinion
- be honest if there is a problem
- pray for their spiritual growth
- don’t make assumptions
- don’t grumble about them behind their backs
- be humble and teachable
- forgive even if reconciliation isn’t possible
- show affection that they like
- do what’s best for them, even rebuke, as long as it’s done for their benefit and with gentleness