True love—or the Greek word agape—is a hard-working verb. It’s not mushy. It’s not puppy love. It’s not even romantic. It’s a love that is determined to love another no matter what! It’s the kind of love God extended toward us when we weren’t doing anything worthy of His love, and it’s the kind of love Jesus told we as us His disciples would be known for.
We just wrapped up a series called Loving The Unloveable where we explored what the Bible says about how we are to live out this agape love, especially to those who seem “unloveable.” We went through a list of 15 facets of this love spelled out in 1 Corinthians 13.
You can read about the first five facets by clicking here.
You can read about the second set of attributes by clicking here.
Here are the final five—
Love is protecting
- The King James Version says love bears all things. So we need to ask, “What does love bear?”
- The Greek word means: “protecting by covering with silence.”
- In other words, we bear with the insults of an unloveable/unloving person by refusing to talk about them in a negative way.
- Agape doesn’t talk about people (unless it’s a conversation with God); agape only talks lovingly to people. Agape protects their reputation.
Love is trusting
- Love has a high confidence in success. Not my success, but God’s success. So we keep believing for a breakthrough; keep trusting God to accomplish something; keep doing our part in pointing out the best (or the best that is yet to be) in others.
Love is hopeful
- The Amplified Bible says: love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances.
- So we work now, but we are always looking forward to the future with joy and full confidence.
- Think about a farmer: After he plants the seed, he doesn’t see it any more. But his outlook remains hopeful. So he waters a seed he cannot see. He fertilizes a seed he cannot see. He works the ground for a seed he cannot see.
- Our acts of love may be planting a seed, or fertilizing, or watering. Every part is vital; no part can be skipped. And we remain hopeful of a harvest.
- Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Love is persevering
- I love the Greek definition: “enduring through every circumstance without ever weakening.”
- Never let your love waver. Keep on being patient, and kind, and forgiving, and all of the other characteristics of agape listed in 1 Corinthians 13. All of them are irreplaceable and effective!
Love is maturing
- Love continues to grow up.
- Agape is creative, never stagnant or stuck in a rut. Agape finds new ways to express itself.
Here’s where the real test comes in: How will you apply these attributes of love to someone in your life? More specifically: to someone you think is “unloveable”?
I know you have someone in your life that you think is unloveable. With that person’s face clearly in mind, how will you fill in the blanks:
- I can protect their reputation by…
- I believe God is working in this…
- I need to not give up in this area…
- I must remember this…
- I can how my love more maturely by…
If you would like a downloadable PDF of this worksheet, click here -–> Love Is… worsheet 3