Certainly this is a vast topic. One might say, “It’s Needless to claim to write on this broad subject.” How can one say, write about love to one and write about hate to another. Who can know or even believe that you’re sincere one way or another? Well, its easy to make a determination that you’re “wishy-washy, not genuine.” You’re inconsistent, insincere and not believable. How can one say, “I love these, but not those.” Then you might say, “Who are these and who are those?” How can one say, “I’m going to love these, but I’m going to hate those.” Your love is in question and unreliable. So, you have to sort it out and be ready to say, perhaps, “I’m not talking about the person or peoples who God created. I’m talking about the things “they and those do.” God didn’t make people disobedient. Look at their fruit that “they and those produce.” You look at their actions, their activities. But, inside is the capacity for that person to show forth some kind of love. The question then becomes: “What kind of love is this?” “What kind of love am I experiencing?” There are different kinds of love shown to different people and things. There is “Stergos,” for example love between family members. (It is not used in the New Testament.) There is “Eros” (we may have heard of this kind more). It’s relating to relationship between male and female, which includes physical desire, craving and longing (It is not used in the New Testament either.) “Philos” the care and concern friends have for each other or brotherly love like David and Jonathan (John 21:15-17). Then we have “Agape” love. This is the highest type of love where one deliberately chooses to do good and care about another regardless and not the qualities of the person receiving the love. Best seen in this verse, “for God so loved the world.” It is the love God calls believers to display (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13) One can become confused about these types of love. The flesh and lusts of the mind come and damage the concept and purpose of the love. Jesus talked about the greatest of the commandments, “agape” love (Matthew 22:34-40); a sustained, conscious choice to graciously, willingly serve God, not looking for monetary gain or self gratification. 1 John 3:11-24 He commands us to love one another, wherein we are empowered by Him to love in this way by choice, not only by emotion even in the face of hostility or rejection. This is more demanding of us to be intentional with our love, caring for others with compassion and grace. Is it easy? No, it is not. Is it possible? Maybe not at all times and at all places. But possible. However, we become more empowered to do what God wants to do and love “agape” love. Love thy neighbor and all those in the world. That’s the God-like love. It’s tough. Every day we can think of some person or persons who treated us badly, lied on us, called us all kinds of terrible names and accused of things which we are not guilty of. Not only that, but they will not retract the libel and slander. What do you do? Show love by praying for the salvation of their souls and repentance from wrongdoing. Thanks for reading!
Jeanette Grattan Parker, Founder-Superintendent Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 323-293-9826 www.todaysfreshstart.org; Askdrjeanette® www.askdrjeanetteparker.com [email protected] “Inquiring minds want to know.”© All rights reserved. Ask Dr. Jeanette Parker® Word In Life Study Bible reference