7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:7-8
The kind of love that is from God is agape love. This is the you before me kind of love that is glorious and rare. It’s given freely and with no expectation of return. Agape love is unconditional love, chosen to be given despite the response of the other person. In other words, agape love is a choice to love another person even if they do not love us in return, it is the choice to love another person even if they are not loving us. Many people confuse agape love with romantic love, but they are very different. Romantic love is based on emotion, but agape love is not based on emotion at all. In fact, it’s absent of emotion. It is a choice of the will to continue to love someone regardless of how you feel.
God loves us with an agape love. Despite the fact that we did not love Him, that we turned our backs on Him and intentionally chose to sin against Him, He continued to come after us and love us. His pursuing and steadfast love for us is what eventually softened our heart and brought us to our knees.
God calls us to the same kind of love for others. When He gives us this command, He’s not referring to those easy people in your life to love - you know, those people you enjoy being around because they always make you feel so great. We all have those people in our lives that are just easy to love, but it wouldn’t be necessary for God to remind us to love those people. No, this command is specifically for those difficult people. It’s to remind us how to love those challenging people in our lives. The ones who hurt us, the grumpy ones or the ones who just never seem to be happy, the ones who complain about everything, and the ones who seem to put themselves first all the time, the ones who intentionally lash out at us, and the ones who seem so divisive. These are the people God calls us to love with an agape love. We are to choose to love them as an act of the will, despite how we might be feeling in the moment.
The beautiful part of His plan in calling us to love difficult people with an agape love is that in our choice to love them when it’s hard, we might have the opportunity to see their hearts soften at our expression of agape love. And that is God at work.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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