A daily devotion based on Galatians 5:22-23
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Love may be one of the most explored words in our vocabulary. We say that we love a car, a flavor of ice cream, or a sunset. Everyone who has ever talked about their love for another person has thought what the word might mean.
Christian writer, C. S. Lewis, expanded on the four Greek words that the Bible uses for love. He claims that one (storge) deals with affection. Another (eros) is romance. A third (philia) is friendship. And then there is the fourth (agape), unconditional love.
Agape is the love mentioned in the Fruit of the Spirit. It is the type of love that God has for us. God’s love is truly unconditional. God showed this love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God’s love for us isn’t based on our goodness. God doesn’t love us because we are loveable. God loves us for who we are, and in spite of who we are. We are to live our lives reveling in this love.
This is also the love that God hopes we will embody as we let it spill over into our relationships with others. I once heard it said that to love a person is to wish the best for them, regardless of how that will affect you. Parents practice this type of love as they let their children move away. Maybe we should each consider if each of our loving relationships are interested at least as much in the interests of the other, as we are in our own self interests. This is the type of love that bears fruit for God.
Loving God, you gave so much so that we might have life and life abundant. Open my heart that I might receive your unconditional love, and share it in my daily relationships with others. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen