The Greek divide the concept of love into 4;
Eros: lust or love of flesh
Philia: love of family
Storge: love of friends
Agape: God’s love (sacrificial love)
In this complicated world of ours, we fill up our time with our daily plans and aspirations chasing the things we consider to be important; wealth, pleasure… love! So it is pretty understandable that we tend to confuse the necessary things as important. But in the process, the actual important things are relegated to the back of our subconscious because they negate the natural human need for pleasure.
Receiving love is a basic human need, but giving it… not so much! Man is selfish by nature, which is what makes us imperfect. But it takes grace to see someone in need and offer of yourself what you know you can’t get back. That is the true meaning of love!
Eros, Philia and Storge are kinds of love centered on obligation… obligation to satisfy sexual desire, obligation to love ones parents and siblings and obligation to love those that love you.
When Christ said “love God… love your neighbor, including those who hate and persecute you…” he was talking about Agape (sacrificial love) which is not based on obligation, but on the need to bring joy to all those around us without any expectations. This was the motivation behind Christ’s sacrifice to die for mankind to have grace. John 15:13 emphasizes this point adequately… “The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.”
In our pursuit of daily necessities, we should not forget to do what is really important… touching lives, which is not necessarily just about giving alms. Showing concern to the needs of others may just be the difference between life and death, but could cost absolutely nothing, especially in these difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Bertrand Ejoh
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