The Agape Effect
What is agape love? It's a term I grew up with. I can remember my grandfather talking about it a lot in his sermons and he always stressed its importance.
But for me, I never really understood it. Like how in the world does agape love even translate into us, humans? We aren't exactly always the most quick to show love, little less agape love. So, for starters let's see what agape love is.
What Is Agape Love?
Agape love goes by an easier term to understand, although harder to actually act on, "unconditional love". Unconditional love often goes beyond the concept of love as we know it. It's like a sentiment that shows itself through action. I like to think it takes on another aspect for people. “Loving someone where they are at” is sometimes a novel concept. It's hard to show unconditional love to someone without reprisal of it or if that person is even deserving of it.
As Christians though, I believe this is a practice a lot of us sorely lack. The Bible tells us we are to be Christ-like. One of the aspects of being Christ-like is agape love itself. Jesus was the ultimate example of this. The verse we all know well is:
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in him might be saved.” John 3:16
Think of this…God knowing full well how humans tend to act to one another sent His Son to save us. Knowing that there would be people who would not accept him even after the fact. God still sent Jesus to bring us salvation.
Jesus Himself, while in the garden said:
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Jesus knowing full well what was about to happen to him shows love for mankind. That He did it anyway despite his own concerns. Now I am certainly not saying we all have to go out and go through what Jesus did to prove we have that kind of love, but what if it was required of you?
I know I wouldn't see myself doing what Jesus did but what can I do? How can I as someone unworthy show agape love?
How We Can Show Agape Love
Agape love isn't just about sacrifice. There are literally thousands of ways we can practice this unconditional love...agape love. For example, you can give a hug to someone "just because". It's buying the person behind you that coffee knowing you'll probably never see that person again.
How as Christians can we show this in our walk and ministry? Be a friend to someone other people shun. Simply saying Jesus loves you and not expecting a reply, or have a blessed day.
Agape love, in my belief, is just about showing unconditional kindness to those around us. Just simply showing a small kindness or agape love can have a profound effect on someone. It plants a seed in that person's soul…we may not see it right away but give it time. In God's time, more often than not, people start getting curious and waiting to know what you're about.
Jesus Himself would have people gather around...seeing what He was doing as He was going around healing the sick and talking to people regardless of who they are. If anything Jesus is the ultimate "people person" in my book. If only we could learn to unconditionally love like Jesus did, we very well might start getting questions and finding a new brother or sister in Christ.