For a very long time I struggled with hypocrisy in the church. People saying one thing, and doing another. I am by no means exempt of this, Im human afterall. But I have come to realize, as I focus my eyes on Jesus, one thing that is lacking in many of our churches today.
There are a few different types of love that the Bible talks about, but the type I want to focus on is agape love.
Agape love is different from all others in that it is the ultimate way of love. The highest form of love. Selfless, self-sacrificing, unconditional love. The kind of love that can only be exhibited through communion with God. Love that conquers all hatred and breaks down hard hearts. Agape love is not something we do of our own ability, we must be connected to the Source of agape love in order to impart it to others.
If we call ourselves Christians, that means we have some sort of connection with Christ, right? And if we are connected to Christ, we experience His unconditional love in our own personal lives. If we are experiencing the ultimate love, living it, breathing it, speaking it, others around us will see it. If we are truly tuned into Jesus in our everyday lives, it wont go unnoticed. Thats just how it works. Jesus changes our lives so that our lives can change others. Pretty soon we are all drawn into the circle of love, agape love, where Christ is the center.
Heres the key to exuding agape love: get vertical.
When our vertical relationship is strong, rooted, firm in the Truth, our horizontal relationships will begin to mirror it. When we are daily experiencing the agape love of God to us, there is a waterfall effect. We cant help but want to share it with everyone around us. Our families at home, our friends at work, the people at church. Its contagious.
So next time you feel like someone should be more loving, more Christ-like, more righteous, shift your gaze. Look inward. Are you grounded in the agape?
There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.
1 John 4:18
The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.
It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say.
1 Timothy 1:5-8
Show me your agape love today. Fill my love cup so that it overflows into the lives of others. Make me a channel of your love. Pour into me so that I can pour into everyone around me. Give me strength and wisdom; show me when to speak and when to be silent. Help me to have a genuine faith, and love that drives out all fear.
In the name of Jesus I ask these things.