“[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”
(1 Corinthians 13:7).
- Agape love always protects. It covers someone with such a blanket of love that his/her faults are not exposed; they cannot be seen. Peter says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). We can choose to ignore or tolerate a person’s faults, to keep loving him deeply.
- Agape love always trusts. Basically, this is having faith in someone. Beth Moore shared that one of the most painful things she has done was to assist a fallen sister. Some months later she said to Beth: “God has completely removed that temptation from me. Do you believe me?” Beth’s immediate response was, “Absolutely.” She has never again considered that the situation could repeat itself because she chose to believe her. That’s agape!
It looks beyond what people are to what they can become. It sees potential in everyone, and believes God can turn the most unattractive and unworthy person into a masterpiece of grace and beauty.
- Agape love always hopes. The Greek word for hope is elpizo. To hope in someone means to trust him/her, expecting their very best. Paul sent Titus and some brothers to the Corinthian Church, anticipating that they would understand why Paul loved them so much. He expected the best from them and undoubtedly received it (2 Corinthians 8:22-24). Agape is full of hope.
- Agape love always perseveres. The Greek word for perseveres is hupomeno which means to hold up under, to remain under something. Godly love endures beyond life’s hurts and reaches out to others. It has the depth and tenacity to carry us beyond mere affection and self-interest.
Agape love is patient, persistent, and persevering. It loves others no matter what—regardless of their needs, actions or reactions. It shows love, speaks love, gives love and lives love.
Agape loves others selflessly—not for what they can give us, but for what we can give them. It loves sacrificially—not to be served, but to serve, not even to be blessed, but to bless. It is sympathetic—feeling their burden, sharing their sorrow, sensing their needs, and strengthening them wherever possible. Our Lord said, ”Love one another; as I have loved you. “
Lord, help us to believe in people
And all that in them You can do,
So we can say we’ve loved too many,
Rather than too few. –Sper