29 December 2011
English is so limiting sometimes.
I love how ancient Greek has four words for love, distinguishing between the different types.
Storge- Affection. Natural Love, like that of a parent for a child. The love within a family.
Eros- A passionate, intimate love. Not a lasting one, usually, but a burning one.
Philia- Love between friends. it is a commitment, demanding loyalty, respect and friendship. It is a love of something good and enjoyable.
Agape- This, this is the hardest and best love. It is unconditional love, love that is sacrificial and deep and lasting. This is beyond Philia or Eros. This is the love that lasts through thick and thin. This is the word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 13. This is the word used to describe the Love of God to us.
Agape. It is a hard word to live out.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
How many times have we heard these words read? At weddings, at church. We know them. But the word is Agape.
Suddenly it is different. These words apply not only to those we make an effort with, but to those we dislike. Those who have hurt us. Those who have not been consistent to us.
What a hard creed.
I say these words, but can I live them?
Can I have Agape to those who I dislike?Because the two don't work together.
I am struggling with that. How do you love the unlovable? It is not easy to do.
I can love God ,who gave His life for me, with my whole heart. That is impossible not to do. But because I love Him, there is this matter of Agape.
It, though, is the description of His love for us. He loved Me in the depths of my sin, in the blackness of my heart, and that is where he died for me, for us.
It's a process.
Not an easy one. One that I fall in, mess up in, want to give up on sometimes. And yet he loves me anyway.
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
If we, we who were loved in our unlovelyness, do not love the unlovable, who will? Who will Love them, be the physical demonstration of the love of Christ? We are the hands and feet of Jesus.