What is Agape?

1 Peter 4:8-9

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

Before I read this passage today, I prayed for God to help me with how I feel.  Today is one of those days where it feels like everything is against me, nothing is going the way I want it to, and I’m having trouble being polite and courteous to anyone.  I prayed for God to forgive me of the ways I have and might have sinned against Him and others as a result of my emotions today.  I then opened my bible and read these verses and said, “of course.”  Of course God would answer my prayer with this type of response.

I’ve pretty much been complaining today about how this isn’t working, how that is taking forever, and how people don’t understand how I feel.  What does Peter encourage us to do in this passage? Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another.  That hits me right between the eyes today.  The word that Peter uses here for love is agape, it is the word that had to be created to describe how the first Christians treated each other and others.  It is the kind of love that is chosen.  It is the kind of love that despite how someone treats you or makes you feel, you respond kindly or as Peter says here, hospitably without complaint.

It is the kind of love we exemplify when we take out the trash for our wives.  It is the kind of love that we show when we do something we don’t have the desire or energy to do, but we do it anyway because we love the person we are doing it for.  It is the kind of love that forgives when forgiveness isn’t even asked for.  It is the kind of love that continues despite one’s negative actions.  It’s the love that meets someone where they are instead of expecting them to first behave better.  I’m grateful for my wife who exemplifies this kind of love on a day like this, when I feel unlovable.  It’s the kind of love that Jesus and the disciples demonstrated in my post Suck it Up!

This is the kind of love that covers a multitude of sins.  It is the same love that was displayed on Christ’s bloody cross.  It’s the love that chooses to forgive, that chooses to love despite one’s own feelings, that decides to not let sinfulness and negativity win the battle of life.

Thank you Jesus for your love.

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