Select Page

Ancient Greeks used three words to distinguish different types of love: (1) Storge is natural affection, such as the love between parent and child,  (2) Philia is emotional affection or friendship, and (3) Agape is unconditional, giving sacrificial love.

When the Bible describes God’s love for us and the type of love we are to have for him and others, it is called agape love. This means that God loves us unconditionally, even when we don’t deserve it. Love is an action word or commitment.

Love is almost certainly the most misunderstood word in the world. We dilute its meaning by overuse; I love my work, I love my country, I love shopping. Giving and receiving love is difficult when we don’t even comprehend what it is. So, we need to clear up a couple misconceptions. We think love is a feeling – a sentimental knot in the stomach. True love does create feelings, but it is more than a feeling.

God commands us to love one another. This means that we do not have the power to choose who we love and who we do not. The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Above all these things put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony and let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”

The Apostle was letting the people of Colossae know that as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience are virtues that we should possess. He said that these virtues were important, but that love was the most important of all and the “bond of perfection” that held all of the other virtues together.

Agape love is a powerful force that can help us to love even those people we don’t like. God teaches us how to love by bringing certain difficult people into our lives. The truth is, our lives are full of people we don’t like. We might not like the way some people behave, or we might not like what others wear. But most of all, we tend to dislike people who don’t like us. However, God commands us to have a tender fondness for everyone. And so, we are encouraged to love humanity. And that is what love has to do with it. Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Dr. Walter Ghosten