I have been studying and meditation on 1 Corinthians 13 lately…ouch. Let’s just say it is an invitation to a deeper dying of self.
David Pawson is helping me understand love a little bit more this morning. The 3 Greek words for “love” are eros, philadelphia, and agape. Eros has to do with physical attraction and pertains to the body and emotions. Philadelphia is the reciprocal affection between friends and is mostly soulish as it has to do with finding common ground between people.
Agape is the love of God. Agape is 1 Corinthians 13 love. Agape is a demonstration of love (giving of attention and sacrifice) regardless of the “other’s” response and what they do or fail to do. David says: “When a person loves with agape it is because they see that someone needs it.” Agape is an act of the will- it is a choice, and this is why God can command us to “agape”.
We are commanded to love God. This means to love what he loves and hate what he hates. Loving God involves the inside and outside of us- what I think in my mind, the motivations of my heart, and bodily expression.
We are commanded to love people. This means to love through sacrifice, considering others better than myself (internal expression) and serving them to meet their needs (external expression).
As I was studying and reading I was thinking “God, it is DIFFICULT to choose to love (agape) again and again and again.”
I felt like He responded, “I choose to love you again and again and again.”
He only invites me to do what He has done first.
He provides the invitation, and He provides the endurance and perseverance of His Spirit strengthening my Spirit to do it. He has provided everything I need to agape. The only thing he cannot provide for me is the “yes” of my heart to accept the invitation. My “yes” is weak and broken- but He has it.