Sunday, January 10, 2021

AGAPE aka Unconditional Love, Compassion, Mercy and more

AGAPE is my word for 2020. My word to meditate upon and to bring into every area of my life.

The Greek word AGAPE has no real English equivalent. Sometimes, AGAPE is translated as Love, but Love in English could be said to apply to your love for hot dogs, or any passing fancy that you “love” for a while but later dislike. Greek has at least 4 words that translate into the English word “love”.

The famous Love Chapter in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) is about AGAPE/Love, coming from the original Greek. Some translations of AGAPE in that chapter use the word charity, for it comes from the space of giving compassion, with kindness and patience. This chapter clearly reminds us that without AGAPE/Love, we are nothing. Also, that perfect love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18), that's AGAPE /love, too, in the original Greek.

Jesus taught that someone seeking the Kingdom of God would:

· AGAPE/love God,

· AGAPE/love our neighbor as we AGAPE /love ourselves (and treat our neighbor as we treat ourselves)

· AGAPE/love our enemies.

Throughout the New Testament use of the word AGAPE brings the essence of never ending unconditional love, loving-kindness and mercy that is unfailing and totally undeserved. AGAPE is unconditional love; it is unfailing love. God is the source of AGAPE. God is AGAPE. Through AGAPE, we recognize that there is a force that connects us all, and if we allow that AGAPE/love to flow within that circle, it requires no reciprocation. 

With any ineffable word or concept, it often seems easier or more important to say what it is NOT. AGAPE/Love does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, and doesn’t keep a record of wrong-doings, is not easily angered, and is not self-seeking.

It has been said that AGAPE comes more from your will than from a feeling. I wholeheartedly agree with that. Unlike popular culture which believes it is a romantic feeling, it must be based on a voluntary choice followed by action, doing what is best for all no matter how you feel.

No matter what we feel, we can still ask for God's AGAPE/Love to fill us and to overflow into every area of our life. All we have to do then is accept and allow it to be. While it may be difficult to forgive within our own humanity, when we rely on God’s AGAPE/Love, forgiveness becomes an act of will.

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