The Meaning of the Word Agape

agape meaningThe word “agape” is Greek in origin, and is found in many places in the original text of the bible. This unique word, when translated to English, means selfless love. Throughout the bible, there are different words used in different instances of talking about love. There is not one blanket term used to describe all forms of love. There is a word for romantic love, there is a word for familial love and agape is the word for selfless love. Studying the bible will reveal to you that “agape” is referred to as the truest and purest form of love.

When comparing agape to other forms of love, one can see why it is considered the truest form of love in the bible. Romantic love is fiery and passionate, but it tends to be self-serving. Romantic love easily takes the course of a lover focused on what their significant other can do for them rather than on how they can serve and bless their lover. Familial love is the kind bound by blood and familiarity, but it can come with some fierce emotions that work against love, such as anger and pride. Selfless love is by nature both permanent and altruistic. To selflessly love someone is to put their needs and their desires before your own. This kind of love is perfect, not fleeting, fickle or deterring.

What agape looks like between people is service. When you agape someone, or love them selflessly, your focus shifts from your needs to their needs. Your joy comes from seeing them happy and fulfilled. This means you will put effort into their well being. You will pick them up when they are down. You will provide for them when they cannot provide for themselves. You will go out of your way to bless them even when there is no occasion. You will even lay down your life for them. Agape is the key to world peace, yet it is the rarest form of love to find because people are inherently selfish. In order to achieve a state of agape, one must literally leave behind their selfishness. It is the opinion of this blogger that this is only possible with God’s help as it requires a supernatural amount of selflessness.

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