Agape: A Love Like No Other
Noun: Christian love, especially as distinct from erotic love or emotional affection
Early 17th century: from Greek agapē ‘selfless love.’
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I look for the good in them before I see the bad. I see potential in people that everyone else writes off. I thrive in helping those people see themselves in a positive light — the way God sees them. Sometimes they do prove me wrong, and for some reason I am disappointed and surprised every time that happens. But alas, I do it again and again. People tell me that I am “too nice” (which I totally take as a compliment!) and that sometimes you just have to be tough on people or give up on them. They tell me that some people never change. Although my past has proven that to be true to a point — that sometimes there are toxic relationships that you do have to give to God and move on from — I cannot help but feel that there is ALWAYS hope. Even when I do have to break off relationships with people, I still feel hopeful that something I said or did will help them in the future when they are ready to accept God’s love or ready to change. It isn’t my job to change people — that’s God’s job. All I want to do is plant the seed. People always give me the same reasoning as to why you shouldn’t be “too nice” and it never resonates with me. They say that you will get hurt or taken advantage of, etc…I think the reason I cannot relate is because of the motive. This isn’t about me and how it benefits me. When I encourage people and believe in them — it’s because I truly want them to succeed and feel the same way I do. I want them to have a peace and joy that cannot be taken away by anything in this world.
Jesus had every right to give up on us — on me. He was sinless. I sin every day. He never breaks promises. I have broken more promises to Him than I can count. He never falters, never changes. I am a hot mess and all over the place! Jesus never once gave up on me. He loves me the same today as He did before I was born, and every moment in between. In the Bible, Jesus commands us to love one another. He never commands us to do anything that He didn’t do. Jesus loves us to the point that He was willing to be wrongfully accused, publically mocked, beat and tortured to the point where He was in critical condition with his muscles and tendons exposed; then he was forced to drag a heavy cross to the site where he was nailed by his hands and feet and DIED an extremely painful death of asphyxiation.
I want you to think about your family. How much you love them. Would you die this death for them? Hopefully you said yes…you would pray for another way of course, but you would do it. That is agape love. Love to the point where you would sacrifice your own life to save someone. You consider their life MORE valuable than your own.
Now I want you to think of a stranger or someone negative in your life. The person that cut you off driving home yesterday, the person that always has something negative to say at work, or someone that cheated on you or took advantage of you…think of that person and now answer the same question above. Would you die that death for them? Be honest with yourself…you probably wouldn’t. Even if you would in the end, I’m sure you didn’t answer with the love and passion you did for your loved one.
Jesus loves YOU and died this awful death for YOU. Whether you are a Christian, an atheist, a satanist, a failure by our society’s standards, successful…doesn’t matter. Agape love does not discriminate. It doesn’t love you determined on whether you love it back. It seeks nothing from you for it’s own benefit — only for yours. Jesus just wants a relationship with you. You are SO important to Him that when he was faced with the decision above — he didn’t hesitate. He knew you were worth it. He couldn’t stand the thought of you suffering in eternity — so He suffered for you…for me.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. Greater love has no one than this,that he lay down his life for his friends.”