Love is unselfish, and loyal, and has the concern for the well-being of other’s as in 1 Cor 13 Paul describes “love a more excellent way then tongues, even preaching a sermon becomes God's word to us only as God's servant.
THE DEFINITION OF ‘’LOVE” IN GREEK
Eros – carnal, sexual love
Phalli – the love of a close friendship
Storage – the love of family relationships
Agape – that love which seeks only the highest good of others
Agape is about giving of ourselves expecting and wanting nothing in return. It means loving other people regardless of whether you like them or whether they love you. It’s supreme example is in Jesus who laid down his life, not only for his friends, but for everyone. there were three crosses along the wall of a church yard. The middle cross had the word “forgiveness” written on it. The one on the left had “refused” and the one on the right had “accepted” on it. These represented the two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus – one who accepted the forgiveness on offer and one who didn’t. Agape love made Jesus lay down his life for both thieves – and for us – even though one of them didn’t want to accept what was on offer. It is this last form of love that Jesus commands us to have for each other.Jesus command to us is to love one another. A: Love is different from liking!Love is a different thing from liking another person. We like someone else because of ways in which we can make positive connections. We share a similar humour or outlook on life, we complement each other, we find it easy to spend time with them. There maybe something about attraction and romance going on as well, but generally it is easy to spend time with the people we like. It is easy to do things, even things that inconveniences us, for those we like. Agape love, however, is different. We love others regardless of whether or not we like them. We love others regardless of whether we will “get anything back” because of our actions. This type of love is not about a feeling, it is not about willing ourselves to think nice things about the other, it is about our actions and the motivations behind our actions.It is about serving each other, going out of our way for each other, putting ourselves out. It’s about listening to each other, supporting each other during both good times and bad - and all this regardless of whether or not we like each other.B: Love is often Tough
Sometimes when we hear the word “love” we think that we mean nice soft things. Often love is nice and soft . But often love is tough. It is tough to say “no” when a beautiful dog is gazing at you when you are eating something, but it is the most loving thing to do. Sometimes love has to be tough and it is disturbing.But Love is tough.
When we tell people that their behaviour is inappropriate we are acting in a loving way, both to that person and to the wider community we are seeking to protect. When there is inappropriate gossip or backbiting the people who are doing this are challenged and told this is wrong. This leads some people to think that the people standing up for tough love they are being mature and demonstrating agape love. Love for the people who are behaving inappropriately and love for the community here who deserve better. Love is tough. So my second challenge to you is do you show tough love or do you back away wanting a quiet life? Which is more loving?C: Love the World
a final thought about showing agape love in action is to love the world. This sounds strange as many of us come from Christian traditions which are very content to condemn the world and to play as small a part in non-Christian culture as possible. But St John’s Gospel tells us that God so loved the world that He sent his only Son to the world. Loving the world with agape love does not mean being conformed to it. But it does mean we have to embrace the world, to serve the world, to tell it like it is and to change it. Agape love gets us to write Amnesty International letters to oppressive governments in the hope that people we have never met and will never meet and who don’t even share the same faith as us, are treated better. Agape love motivated Mother Theresa to serve the poor and the dying in Calcutta. Agape love motivates us to serve. So my final challenge is how do you serve others, not in the church through your life?
There are many kinds of love that we experience. The fact that we experience so many kinds of love means we often don’t understand what we mean when we say, or someone says to us, “I love you”. We usually think they mean they, or we, are “in love” with the other. We also think that being “in love” is all about feelings and not about our wills. However, the Bible says there are many different types of love and the love we should demonstrate to each other in the Church and to the world is the highest form of love, in Greek called agape. This is love which is sacrificial, which may be unreciprocated and which is difficult. This is what Jesus tells us to do when he tells us to love one another.