Just stop! I use to think I really knew what love was all about. I have to confess that what I thought was love, was not really love at all. In fact, it was a form of love that earthlings have come to believe as love ever since the fall of man. Wow, were we deceived. Then we started saying how much we loved this and how much we loved that-when all we were professing was a form of love the Greeks called, “phileo love.” The word was well known, but there was a serious problem with it. It wasn’t good enough.
It only had a shelf life of a few years. Some brands lasted only for a few moments. Others, not even a few months. We used that love to express some emotional need (that we felt in our brain) to tell others that we “loved” them. But we used that same word for our dog, our cat, our car, our children, our house, our president, our neighbor, our sofas, our dentist, our church, our spouses and even God. Now how can that be? How can that be authentic love? We’ve been deceived.
Men and women take vows and say “till death do us part,” only to find out that the shelf life on their love had expired way before death ever thought about coming around. Friends say I love you, only to realize that that wasn’t a good brand of love they bought into and eventually say, “sorry, I must part ways with you now.” How about the brand of love found at the end of a date that causes you to fall for that guy and do anything for him just because he said he loved you? Where did you buy that love? At the dollar store?
Phileo love is good, but not good enough. If Sears were selling it, it would be in the better section of the store. You know, they sell stuff like good, better, best. Phileo love is not the love that glues friendships, lovers, spouses, parents and children together. When we use the same kind of love for a spouse and a dog, then something is not right. I know–I hear you clearly shouting at me, “THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE!” No, calm down. There are different “depths” of phileo love but it’s all the same.
Agape is a love, created by God, which causes man to bond in a way that is like super glue. It’s not artificial. It’s not a love substitute. It’s not cheap and ugly. It’s lasting and pure.
Not many people understand or know about agape. Yet. Even in the “best of the best” respected books in Christianity, such as Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline,” not one word is mentioned about the discipline of agape love. It’s difficult to find those who really understand it.
I don’t use the word love much anymore because it is so overused and has such contempt with it. I use the word agape because it means more than love to me. It means what I feel and say.
So who has deceived us? More on that tomorrow.
That’s what I think about it.