1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version
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.
We all long for a love like this, a love that makes us feel seen, a love that endures forever, a love that doesn’t rejoice in injustice, a love that is patient and kind. While we might taste slivers of this kind of love, no one’s love can fully satisfy these characteristics. I mean if you don’t believe me, just think. Have you been let down by a loved one? Even though they love you immensely, their love falls short. In fact, all of us fall short of being able to dispense this perfect love but Someone can fully display this love and has fully displayed it!
His love is more than just a feeling, more than just a cursory, hollow “I love you” statement, his love plays itself out in action because love is not just a feeling, love is feeling followed by purposeful action.
Think about this. If you say you feel strongly about climate change, but just continue to watch your friend engage in bursting firecrackers and emitting harmful pollutants in the air, or merely ignoring the fact that you yourself continue to waste gallons of water a day, isn’t this hypocritical? Do you, then, really care for the environment?
Therefore, feeling has to be supplemented with action in order for love to be genuine.
This was displayed most perfectly by Jesus on the cross, who, in love, bore our sins and guilt and, in love, came to us 2000 years ago and, in love, continues to approach us today.
The title here, Agape love, corresponds to the highest order of love, a love that sacrifices and works through action and a love that is unconditional and unfailing.