A Compilation of Short Messages that explain Bible verses on this topic.
WHAT IS “AGAPE” LOVE LIKE?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. - 1 Corinthians 13:4 (Berean Study Bible)
God is love and His nature is summed up in love, as we see in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and also in many other places throughout the Bible. The original Greek word translated as love in the above verse, is “agápē” and it means “affection, good-will, love, benevolence.” It is used in the Bible to define the godly love of men to men; especially of that love of between Christians, or between Christ or Father God and men (according to “Thayer’s Greek Lexicon”).
The true godly love is long-suffering and kind. We need to receive God’s love for us in order to be able to give it to others. It is much easier to endure the faults of those whom we love than of others and we can even respond with kindness to their bad actions. We find excuses for them and we may keep our composure while what they do or say would normally get us angry or upset. God endures so much from each of us, every day, because He loves us and we are called to do the same for our fellow man.
The following attributes of love are mentioned as the opposites of negative behavior. Envy and jealousy are rooted in selfishness. But love makes us rejoice for the success of our loved ones. Pride and boasting bring division and cause much hurt. All prideful talking and attitudes lifts up self and puts others down. Love on the other hand, exalts the others and humbles the self.
WHAT IS “AGAPE” LOVE NOT LIKE?
It (love) is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. - 1 Corinthians 13:5 (Berean Study Bible) Unappropriated, disrespectful behavior cannot come out of love. A selfish heart cannot truly love someone else and seek to do what is good for others. But love expresses itself through being respectful towards others, lifting them up and always carrying more for what is best for others than itself.
Love is the foundation of a calm, patient attitude. When we treat people right and do not expect them to do only what we want or suit our plans, we are not easily angered. We are more tolerant with the ones we love and we know that we truly love someone if we do not keep records of their mistakes. This is exactly how God treats us. Because He is just we have to ask forgiveness when we sin, but once we do it, our Father not only forgives us, but He also forgets our sins and erases them from His records.
“AGAPE” LOVE REJOICES IN THE TRUTH NOT IN EVIL
Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth.… - 1 Corinthians 13:6 (Berean Study Bible)
Where there is true godly love, everything good abounds. We all like to be around happy, joyful, loving people that seek the benefit of others, even if it costs them. On the other hand, we avoid the people that enjoy when they offend, upset or hurt others. If we want to please God, we find no pleasure in anything evil.
The more we understand how important it is to be filled with God’s love and seek His presence more, the more lovable and happier we become. When we rejoice in the truth, we seek to be around people like us and by doing so, we grow in integrity. As a result, not only does our behavior change, but our character changes for the good too. We might find ourselves in situations when even if for the moment it seems that if we do not sin, it would cost us too much, but the truth is exactly the opposite. Even if the truth and doing what is right may cost us our lives, it is worth not to sin and to know we will be with Jesus forever. In sinning we may not have the chance to repent and possibly lose our salvation. What happens to us for eternity matters the most, because it lasts forever.
“AGAPE” LOVE ENDURES AND HOPES FOR LOVED ONES
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.- 1 Corinthians 13:7 (Berean Study Bible)
God’s type of love silently endures whatever it has to suffer, for the sake of others. It takes spiritual maturity and strong faith in Christ to have such love. The “agápē” love is the ultimate enemy of selfishness and it never seeks its own benefit, advantage, honor or pleasure.
Because we have the tendency to judge others by the way we think, talk and act, we cannot have such love for others, in our own nature. This is the love that comes in us through the Holy Spirit, as His fruit. We need to get our own selfish nature out of the way and allow the love of God to manifest in and through us. To do so, we need to realize that those around us are not our clones, but they have their own desires, plans and ways of doing things. Their ways might be much better than ours or they may get even better results, even if they are different. This mindset can help us to bear and endure all things, as we allow the love that comes from the Holy Spirit to manifest more through us. There is perfect hope in true love, as it trusts God to make things happen, not us.