love can really frustrate you. it can inspire you. it can move you to tears, and also move you to scream into a pillow. it can give you the pen to write poetry. but any what i just wrote can seem exclusive when talking about love. because love isn’t exclusive.
the word in the greek for the greatest of all loves is agape. a loose translation would be something like this, love is: dying to our own egos and agendas and seeking the best for the ‘other’ without anything in return. no expectation of a return response.
i was talking with someone today about the ‘gay debate’,which i think is a complete misnomer and very condescending. it assumes that a person in the gay community is somehow valueless unless they change their behaviour. how is that loving? it also assume that homosexuality is a sin. (Check out this link on all the verses that tend to get misinterpreted — http://www.gaychristian101.com). But that’s not what this blog is about.
Some christians try to convert people into the Kingdom of God. Some people become friends with others solely to convert them. I used to do this. But agape expects nothing in return. If we come into any relationship (unless otherwise specified; ex — business contract) and expect something in return than it isn’t agape.
if are our hope in a discussion is to change the other person, than we are coming with an agenda. we are coming in with filtered love. that is a love that is filtered either by theology or a specific worldview that (maybe unintentionally) attach expectations on the end result of the relationship.
unfiltered love says i want to do the best i can for you. whatever i have to sacrifice to do it, i will do it. and i won’t expect anything in return.
some might be asking well how far is too far? (usually this comes with the idea that we are to move people from away from their sin) — peter and the teacher of the law both asked the question ‘how far is too far?’ and jesus responds to both and says ‘thats the wrong question’. just forgive. just be a neighbour. agape love sacrifices ourselves, our worldviews, our egos and theologies to meet the other right where they are and meet them at the point of their need. without expectation.
maybe we can be people who learn how to be unfiltered lovers. the better we get at this, the less important that behaviours people are into become the center of our intentions. let love do the changing. and don’t be surprised if the person that ends being changed is you.