John 13:34 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Do you remember the cartoon “Love is………..” by cartoonist Kim Casali from New Zealand. These little cartoons usually showed a couple with a caption that defined an aspect of love. A few examples showed us “Love is………………….camping out under the stars together.” or “Love is…………………a feeling to treasure.” These cartoons brought smiles to millions of people over the years. They also helped us to visualize the various types of love.
The Ancient Greeks came up with four types of love. The word Eros represents the romantic love felt between a husband and wife. Agape love embodies unconditional love as shown in Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. The other two types of love are Phileo and Storge, which deal more with the love of family and friends. The Bible offers over 700 verses on the subject of love. A couple of my favorite verses of love are:
Matthew 22:39 (NIV) “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Romans 13:10 (NIV) “Loves does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
A mission trip abroad provides many opportunities to share an agape love with those we serve. A well drilled in rural Kenya gives clean water to the villagers and demonstrates God’s love. Feeding the hungry in homeless shelters offers the residences agape love. Homes built for orphans, so they no longer lived on the streets shows the children how much Christ’s cares for them. We all must strive to follow Christ’s examples of agape love in all we do.
Love can do unintentional harm if it does not follow Christ’s example as we move as His hands and feet to the world. Those served will watch to see if the actions follow the walk of Christ. Does the team fight and argue as they work together or do they show love towards each other. Will we eat along with the locals or hide away from them. Are the words we speak full of love or full of complaints about the poor conditions surrounding the work site? These examples of unloving behaviors can do unintentional harm to the work of Christ. We must follow Christ’s example of Agape love in all we do for others.
The commandments of “Love does no harm” and “Love thy Neighbor” presents difficulties to our everyday lives as well. God commands us to love. It does not offer the caveat to only love those that look like us or act like us or have the same beliefs as us. Love, that is all there is to it. Love allows no judgment or no criticism. “God is Love,” and as we go out to be Christ to the world, we must reflect that love to EVERYONE.
1 John 4:20 says (NLT) “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
Yvonne, Blogger, speaker and author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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