God has been teaching me so much lately, but the most important lessons I’m learning are the ones that seem most basic, but are the hardest to put into practice in my life. They are the lessons of agape love.
Agape is a love that lays down its life. We see it most extravagantly at the cross of Jesus Christ, where the Son of God laid down his life to atone for the sins of all humanity. Agape is also a love that refuses its rights. This doesn’t mean that we are spineless doormats, it means that we are strong enough to not become victims when someone else sins against us.
The hardest part about living a life of agape is dying to myself in all the tiny moments of the day. Just a few hours ago I was at a gas station, trying to use the air machine to fill up my tires. Somebody was parked right in front of it but not using it, so I waited patiently. When they moved their car, I started backing up. But then some other guy zipped around me and parked right in front of the air machine, only to let his wife out of the car to go buy something in the store. He wasn’t even using it! I was so furious! I desperately wanted to hop out of the van and give him more than just a piece of my mind, but I drove off, cursing him under my breath.
Honestly, I can’t even tell you what it would look like to have agape for a total stranger like that, but I’m sure it doesn’t look like my passive-aggressive anger. But I can imagine that, if I had died to myself in that moment, and politely asked him to move so that I could fill my tires, he probably would have agreed. But I chose to be offended. I chose to be a victim.
In the tiny moments of your day, before you get angry, or offended, or choose to be a victim, take a second to consider what agape would like. Ask yourself, “How can I live a love that lays down its life?” This is what it means to walk as Jesus walked.