Agape is an ancient Greek word that means serving others for those others’ sake. Agape Love is not dependent on the type of relationship, such as:
Leading modern philosopher on the topic of agape love is Gene Outka who identifies three features:
As an example, if you spend a day lifting boxes of food to assist those without homes and you are tired from a hard day, but you persevere nonetheless because those in line need your help, then you are showing agape love.
Altruism does not necessarily involve effort and pain for the good of the other. For example, when a millionaire gives $100 to the homeless, this act is not self-sacrificial because it does not cost them anything.
Kindness is an action that removes suffering from others. Agape, on the other hand, acknowledges that sometimes people grow in their suffering. Thus, those who exhibit agape love as a gift to another will not necessarily take away the other’s suffering if it is seen as necessary, at least temporarily, for that person’s growth as a person.
Forgiveness is an expression of agape love as mercy toward a person who has been unfair to you.
Forgiveness can be defined as the offended person’s response of giving up resentment toward
an offender while fostering the undeserved qualities of beneficence and compassion toward the offender. In the context of the definition above, the result of forgiveness is the transformation of negative thinking, actions (e.g., revenge), and feelings (e.g., anger and
resentment) into positive thinking, actions (e.g., helping), and feelings (e.g., compassion)
towards an undeserving offender.
You do not need to maintain a relationship with the person who offends you especially if that relationship is unhealthy.
You can forgive and seek justice at the same time.
It is the opposite of weakness! Bearing the pain after an offense and committing to forgive an
individual who gave up their right to your compassion requires bravery and strength.
Faking forgiveness, even for convenience allows for you to retain condescension and hostility toward the person who offended you, and is not true forgiveness.
To learn more about what forgiveness is and how to measure forgiveness, visit the International Forgiveness Institute, Inc.