What agape love is not
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he said that love is not rude. “Love does not behave itself unseemly” is the way the King James version puts it. This kind of love separates itself from the in-your-face rudeness often displayed today. We are living in a time when civility seems to take a back seat to brashness – in our speech, in advertising, in the way we treat each other.
Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of my humor or my comments?” Any act that makes another feel inferior, embarrassed or offended falls into the category of rudeness. Agape love shows the restraint that keeps you from hurting another, no matter how funny you think what you want to say is.
The seventh characteristic of agape love that Paul lists is that love is not self-seeking. One word summarizes this negative. It is selfishness, as opposed to generosity or being self-sacrificing.
The selflessness of agape love insists the other has the larger piece of steak, the last piece of chocolate and the softest side of the bed.
The eighth characteristic of agape love in this list of descriptions found in 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not easily angered. Paul doesn’t say that agape love never yields to anger, because there is a time and a place for anger. Paul then says agape love keeps no record of wrongdoing. It thinks no evil. I never cease to be amazed at the instant recall some people have for the faults and failures of another. Agape love, says Paul, is forgetful. It forgives and forgets. It refuses to fight fire with fire. It returns wrongdoing with acts of kindness. It’s the kind that turns enemies into friends.
By Dr. Harold J. Sala
Updated February 08, 2009 12:00 AM