Love has four meanings in the Greek. The greatest of these is agape, the love that describes the love of God.
Here are three awesome attributes about God’s love that we should emulate, so we can begin to understand the full impact of what love truly is.
1. It is humble.
Pride is so subtle that we can think we’re being humble but unknowingly proud. Take forgiveness as an example. Humility in forgiveness is a two-way street. The one asking for forgiveness and the one who forgives should both reach out to the other with the goal of soothing the hurts, starting over again and restoring whatever may have been lost.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. -Matthew 5:23-24
But oftentimes the one who forgives will not forget. He will forgive but not reconcile. There is no love, there is no humility. It is not forgiveness at all.
When Jesus hung on the cross, he forgave. With his death and resurrection, he continues to reach out to people to reconcile them with God. God’s awesome love was displayed in Calvary!
2. It is self-emptying.
In other words, love in its highest form empties us of the trappings of the ego: self-love, self-worth, self-importance, etc. Agape says, “I will give you all that I am so you can be the best that you can be.”
The crucifixion exposed the worst in man; the resurrection revealed the best that man can be. Jesus emptied himself at the cross so that he can fill us with the best that heaven can give.
Many times it will cause us pain to seek to love the way God does. Yet, it is the ego that is pained, because it struggles to let go of what it believes gives us significance and security. The ego is illusionary. The reality is God.
Give up the ego and embrace God. We will then be on the road to finding and expressing God’s love.
3. It is sacrificial.
It is readily offered. We do not become humble and empty ourselves because we do not have a choice. We love because we want to love, just as God loves us because he wants to love us. Love doesn’t just happen. We make it happen.
We give and we serve and not count the cost. We do so as an offering to God. We do not judge on whether the person is worthy of our love or not. We just love. God always finds us worthy of his love. And he paid the price of this love.
Love at its highest form never asks for anything back. God’s love is an unconditional love.
All three attributes is summarized in this passage of Scripture:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! -Philippians 2:5-8
May we love the way God loves!