240102 – Agape Love Liberates Us 无条件的的爱使我们得自由

John 13:34 (NKJV) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

We are to love others with God’s kind of love—Agape love, which is unconditional. Operating in Phileo love will not only lead to frustration but make us disillusioned about love as well.

Phileo love is an emotional love. It means to be a friend to another, to be fond of, or to have or show affection for an individual or object. Friendship love requires attention, and is based on the qualities in another person that you find admirable or attractive. Phileo love feeds on response, and cannot survive long without response from the other. In contrast, Phileo love gives as long as it receives and thus is a conditional love. (https://www.preceptaustin.org/love-phileo)

Most of us are used to receiving and giving Phileo love. Because it is a conditional love, we will only reciprocate it when we are being loved instead of proactively loving others unconditionally, because men are selfish and self-centred. It is tiring to love others using Phileo love because we are always expecting them to reciprocate by being kind in words and action. Unfortunately, because we live in a broken and fallen world, people will always fail and disappoint us.

Say there are two friends. Freda’s love language is doing things for others—a Phileo love language. When she learnt that Pauline was relocating to her city, she did everything to help Pauline settle quickly. On the other hand, because Pauline’s love language is buying gifts, she bought Freda a gift and dinner to thank her. When it was Freda’s turn to move house, she expected Pauline to help her with the move, but it was not Pauline’s love language, nor did she have the time. Therefore, Freda was hurt and disappointed because she had operated in Phileo love. However, even though Pauline did not help Freda, she bought her a housewarming gift instead. If Freda had gone the extra mile for Pauline with Agape love, with no expectation, all would have been well, plus she got an unexpected gift!

God commands us to love our neighbour as He has loved us. Grace is God’s unmerited favour, or Agape love, which means there is nothing you can do or say, or have not said or done, that makes God love you more or any less. He simply loves you unconditionally.

It can be very damaging emotionally when we love people with Phileo love and have high expectations for them to return it because people will always fail us, and the more we expect, the more disappointed we will be. On the other hand, if we expect nothing in return, we will not be disappointed, hurt or dejected! There are tremendous blessings to love with Agape love. It is liberating because it frees us emotionally to love without any burdens or expectations.

Sermon Series: How to love? (Part 2)


无条件的爱使我们得自由

约翰福音 13:34我赐给你们一条新命令,乃是叫你们彼此相爱。我怎样爱你们,你们也要怎样相爱。

我们要用神的爱—无条件的爱去爱别人。如果我们有条件的爱去爱人,这不单单会导致爱得心力交瘁,还会使我们对爱产生幻灭。

有条件的爱是一种情绪化的爱。它的意思是成为另一个人的朋友,对某个人或某个物件产生或表现出爱意。友谊之爱要求关注,它是以那个令你觉得可敬或有魅力之人的品质为基础。有条件的爱需要回应,如果得不到对方的回应,就无法长久存在。只要对方领受,Agape之爱就源源不绝地给,这是无条件的爱。

我们中的多数人都习惯于领受有条件的之爱,付出的爱也是有条件的。由于Phileo的爱是有条件的爱,我们只有在被爱的时候才作出回应,而不会无条件地主动爱一个人,因为人是自私的,以自我为中心。以有条件之爱去爱人令人心累,因为我们期待着对方报以和颜悦色温柔相待。不幸的是,我们生活在一个破碎和堕落的世界,因此总是有人辜负我们,令我们伤心失望。

话说有一对闺蜜。Freda的爱的语言是服务他人—这是Phileo的爱语。当她得知朋友Pauline要搬到上海时,她忙前忙后地帮助Pauline迅速安顿下来。而Pauline的爱的语言是赠送礼物,因此她给Freda买了一件礼物,又请她美美地吃了一顿晚餐以示谢意。轮到Freda要搬家了。她希望Pauline也能帮助她搬家。但这不是Pauline的爱的语言,并且她也没时间。Freda感到伤心和失望,因为她是以有条件之爱运作。不过,虽然Pauline没有帮Freda搬家,实际上她为Freda准备了一份乔迁礼物!如果Freda为Pauline付出额外的努力是出于不期待回报的无条件的爱,那么一切都不是问题,并且她还收到了一份惊喜的礼物!

神命令我们爱邻舍一如祂爱我们那样。恩典—或称无条件的爱– 是神所赐我们本不配得的恩惠,意味着你不能透过做或没做的行动,说或没说的话使神对你的爱增加或者减少。祂就是那么无条件地爱着你。

当我们以有条件的爱去爱人,并且高度期待对方的回应时,这会对情感造成很大损伤,因为人总是会辜负我们。期望越高,失望就越大。但是,如果我们不期待任何回报,我们就不会失望,受伤和感到被拒绝!以无条件之爱来爱别人有着巨大的祝福。这是一种解放,因为这爱从情感上释放我们,使我们得以毫无负担和期待地去爱他人。

讲章系列:如何去爱?(第二部分)

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