But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23

Last week at CREATE Church, we discussed how love and hate work against each other.

Mark discussed how people love to find fault with and show hate to people. And increasingly we've seen anger and hate expressed toward Christ followers. Hate often comes out of wounds that people have in their life. We also discussed how Mark prayed about how to respond to people who were vulgar and less than loving in their responses to an ad he placed for Disc Golf Church. He shared this with us so we could see a real life example of demonstrating God's love in his responses to people who were offended by the church's existence.

Four kinds of love

There are four Greek words used for love: Eros, Storge, Phileo and Agape.

Eros love is erotic love and is shallow in nature. It is all about the self, based on emotions and self-satisfaction. The second level is Storge love. This kind of love is slightly better in that it is affectionate love. It is a little less selfish even though it still can be selfish. It is about things that one feels good about like family connections, a treasured object or friends.

The third level of love is Phileo love which is companionship love. This love is speaks of fondness, affection or liking. It is a love that is based on giving and receiving. However, when it is strained it can quickly collapse and be destroyed. It is focused on our happiness rather than my happiness like in Eros love. This is love that often is the highest level that you will find in our culture.

Finally, there is Agape love. This is true unconditional love and is completely focused on showing love even when it is not reciprocated back. This is the kind of love that Jesus has for every one of us. It is not vengeful when others wrong us; it is I Corinthians 13 in a nutshell. It loves even when that love is not given back, or even when one is unworthy of being loved. It places an innate value on people beyond what their behavior might merit.

This week's challenge

This brings us to the challenge for this week: showing people more Agape love. In other words, find someone that is a challenge to love, and take a step to love them unconditionally.