I think if we were all to be honest about where we are in our spiritual lives; the greatest challenges of our lives are love challenges. The question is where do we go to define love or help us overcome the love problems of this life? As “practicing Christians”, a people who are doing our faith on a regular basis we should get our definitions from God’s word. God’s word never changes!!
Love. There are so many definitions of love and what love is and isn’t. If you think I’m kidding just call five different people and ask them, “What is love?” You will get definitions that are most times firmly rooted in one’s own experiences. As a side note, if you ask someone what love is while they are going through a love challenge they most times will get mad and try to defend their position while pushing off scriptures and making their own definitions of love……. relating to the capacity they feel as though they can live out at the time… and sometimes we get pretty shallow.
Are people who are being mean, judgmental, hateful and throwing stones walking in love? Most of us would say, NO! Wouldn’t I say no? I have taught the love walk to thousands of people and they have seen powerful things happen in their lives. I’ve seen marriages put back together, jobs restored, the hearts of children turned to their parents and people that hated each other join hands and pray together once again. I’ve also seen couples that had to go their separate ways do it in peace. It’s been awesome!
I’ve seen individuals expand their love walk in times of adversity and I have seen the other side of the coin where people decide that their love walk has tapped out!! Are they still walking in love? Can someone give up and still walk in love? My thoughts are ABSOLUTELY! THEY ARE STILL WALKING IN LOVE!!!! Now, I know that’s shocking for you to hear but let’s examine a few thoughts & scriptures:
To understand this position and get a real theological grasp of this view point there must be an understanding that there is more than one type of love. There are actually four types of love, three of which are listed in the bible. The types of love are as follows:
Philia — love that exists between close friends.
Storge — love that grows between family members.
Eros – an intimate love.
Agape — unconditional love of GOD.
***The only three types of love mentioned in the Bible are: agape, philia & storge. In the Bible Eros has no mention at all, I guess God reasoned we could sort that one out ourselves!***
Three of these types of love are beautiful in their own right BUT there is vanity in them. Why?? Because they not only HOPE for mutual fulfillment, they DEPEND on mutual fulfillment! If you treat me like this…well, I will treat you like this! That system was so flawed that God had to give us the ability to love like Him if we were to ever see the world changed. So GOD in His great love, mercy and even judgment on the enemy of our soul, sent the Holy Ghost to plaster His AGAPE in our hearts!! NOW, we have the potential to AGAPE like God AGAPES or loves…. What are we going to do with it? It is God’s highest aim and will for our lives.
No wonder God said, “by this all men shall KNOW that you are my disciples because you have AGAPE or love, one for another” – John 13:35. That’s speaking of Agape love!! We are not at the leisure of our own thoughts and feelings when it comes to Agape. Why? BECAUSE WHEN YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE WALKING IN AGAPE YOU LITERALLY ARE SAYING, “MY ACTIONS TOWARD YOUR SITUATION DEFINE WHO GOD IS…..AND IF HE WERE HERE, HE WOULDN’T DO IT ANY DIFFERENTLY!!! Why? Because God is AGAPE! So, if we want to Agape there is only one definition that’s worthy of stating:
1 Corinthians 13:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
That’s God’s version of love. That’s His portrait, His reality of the love walk that He desires for all of us. Can you see where you have dropped the ball? I can sure see where I’ve missed it at times!
If I’m bitter, hurt or frustrated, I do like David. I iron them out before the Lord and never let it spill out on God’s people and definitely not the world. Why? Everything else fails…but our love for people is what will stand the test of time…guaranteed! So back to our original question, “Are people who are being mean, judgmental, hateful and throwing stones walking in love?” Biblically, yes but they are walking in human love. God’s love, AGAPE, passes our understanding and is a supernatural work of God in our hearts.
That’s our challenge! At some time in our lives the vanity of carnal love will be challenged. When that happens, God uses it to push us to AGAPE! With all of my mistakes, trials and temptations that’s the life that I have tried to live consistently. Always hoping, always embracing and always there…to the end! Love never fails.