DEVOTIONAL, LOVE

Dallas WillardAgape Love

Love, of the agape variety, is goodwill in action. To love something or someone is to act or be poised to act for the good of that thing or person. Love of neighbor is a disposition to act for what is good for those closest to us. If you see harm coming to them, you act to deflect or diminish the harm. And if they need some good thing, you do what is reasonably in your power to supply it. In the larger social, governmental, or economic setting, those motivated by love do what they can to establish and sustain arrangements and practices that will benefit everyone or as many as possible. They will oppose institutions and practices that hurt the public or fail to provide what is good and helpful. Thus, all leaders, professionals, and spokespersons devoted to love would be simultaneously committed to common goods.

This is why each vocation is considered a “calling.” As individuals and leaders form or join organizations or societies, their objectives would not be directed toward self-seeking gain. Instead, these groups would be “called” to “higher” ends, such as service to their profession or their clients, customers, and neighbors, and not for personal prosperity alone. Those motivated by love at the public level will care for the public, because they care for (love) the people who make up the public.

From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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