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Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Love Is Not {Walking in Agape Love Series}

Characteristics of Agape Love

Welcome to week two of our Walking in Agape Love series. If you are just now finding this series, don't miss When Loving Others is Hard - my first post in this series. Also check out the how this series began by reading my contributor's post, When Love Isn't Easy, over at Worshipful Living.

Now let's get on with week two of our Walking in Agape Love series.

Last week we when we looked at the first four characteristics of Agape love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, we discussed how love does not envy or boast, in addition to two other characteristics. This week we are discussing more of what love is not.

1 Corinthians 13

What Love Is Not

Love Is Not Arrogant

Someone who is arrogant has an exaggerated sense of one's own importance. Success, education, and achievements should not lead one to behave arrogantly toward another, but sadly this is the case in some relationships. Agape love rejects arrogance which leads to pride, both of which fueled Satan in his desire to put himself above God which led God to cast him out of Heaven. Agape love is not self-focused, but puts the needs of others before their own.

Love Is Not Rude

Someone who is rude behaves in an offensively impolite or ill-mannered way toward another. Where there is Agape love, one shows kindness and good manners toward another - even in those moments when we are treated rudely. The temptation to respond in a rude way when we are being treated rudely is always present in this flesh we live in, but when we give into this temptation, we lose our witness as children of God. It's in moments like these where we have to surrender to the Fruit of the Spirit of Agape love that lives within us.

Love Doesn't Insist Its Own Way

Giving preference to others and looking to the interests of others is something Paul emphasized as well in Romans 12:10 and Philippians 2:4. When we walk in Agape love like this we are being most like Jesus as we live life focused on others rather than focused on ourselves.

Love Is Not Irritable

Agape love isn't easily angered. We can't let the actions of others that we don't agree with cause us to sin in anger. Left unchecked, this anger can lead to sins of bitterness, hate towards others, and a desire to seek revenge. This is where we need to be filled up with the pure love of God so that we can extend grace and Agape love in all of our relationships.

Love Is Not Resentful

Agape love will put away hurts that have been experienced instead of clinging to them. We must control our thoughts - being careful not to continually replay all the hurts and painful moments we've experienced in our relationships. We are not truly forgiving others when we continually rehash wrongs done against us as we dwell on them in the thoughts we think. If we don't forgive others, we tread a very dangerous area we dare not go. In Matthew 6:15, Jesus tells us, "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Agape loves chooses to forgive every time the thought comes back into our minds as we willingly release the offense back into the loving hands of God.

Love Doesn't Rejoice at Wrongdoing

Agape love never rejoices in the downfall of another person, nor does it spread gossip. Have you ever stopped to think that gossiping about another person and the wrong things they have done is rejoicing in the wrongdoing of that person? If you get a thrill out of the downfall of another person and/or passing on their wrongdoing, you really need to do a heart check because this is a sign that bitterness and pride have taken root in your heart. I'll say it again - Agape love in your relationships will not rejoice at wrongdoing!

Worshiping God with the way we love is our greatest testimony as Christians. Jesus says in John 13:35, "By this everyone will know you are My disciples, if you love one another." We have been called to Agape love for the sake of Jesus Christ and according to His example. When He left this world, He sent the Holy Spirit who now abides in every believer empowering us to live as we have been called to live. We have the power of the Fruit of the Spirit working on our inside to make us more like Christ in all of our relationships.

"But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." ~Galatians 5:22-23

Let's choose to clothe ourselves in the Fruit of the Spirit so that we can walk in the Spirit of Agape love as we have been called to. Know that I am praying for you, and I hope that you will pray for me too!

Please join me here again next Sunday for Walking in Agape Love, a four-week series in February on worshiping God with the way we love.

Walking in His Grace, 


  1. When I look at God's definition of love, it's so clear how I fall short every. single. day. I thankful for grace, which covers all my poor reactions to situations and times when I just don't react biblically. I'm also thankful that He continues to mold me in His perfect image! I'm sharing this today!

    1. Thanks, Sarah Ann for sharing this post! I'm so thankful for grace too!