The Bright Side of Relating
Agape Anyway – Part 1
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:8-14
Key Verse: 1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
I love a quote from Mother Theresa as related by author John Ortberg: “If you can’t do great things, do little things with great love. If you can’t do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can’t do them with a little love, do them anyway.”
She is describing a love that the Bible calls agape love. Agape is the root Greek word for love that we are reading about in our key verse for today. Though the English translation is “love,” I believe that does not serve the word “agape” well. We have a terrible time separating the word love from emotions or feelings. Agape is a love that focuses much more on action than feelings. God commands us to love one another because He knew we could put love in action toward one another even if we didn’t feel any real emotions toward someone.
We can relate to our relations because it is not based on what they do or say. Certainly, their behavior dictates some boundaries in the relationships, which we will look at next week. But we can love those around us, connecting with them via our actions. We can show concern and willingness to help no matter how we may be feeling at any moment. This agape kind of love is proof that we have been born of God.
Father, help me to put your love into action today. Help me to see the needs of those around me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.