It is why agape requires patience: agape doesn’t come down from the cross and say, “I am out of here,” but endures for the sake of forgiving others. It does not adopt secular tactics to keep score or tally votes, but learns over time the virtue of forbearance and calls forth maturity.
In short, agape means that there needs to be a sense of humility: it means that we don’t know all things, and we can’t see the whole picture, for, in truth, we only see in a mirror dimly (1 Cor. 13:12). We cannot see all that is happening, or all that is going to happen. No one can! If we did, we would sound like a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.
No, love as agape means we act with humility: we see with humble eyes through the cross. We see through another angle of vision. Because, truth be told, right now, our vision is blurry, or should I say, due to our own imperfections, we cannot quite make out what we see all the time, especially when we look in the mirror.
In other words, when I look in the mirror, is it someone I know? Is it really me? Or is it someone who thinks he has it all together? Or is it someone Whose own face I am trying to see, but never quite clear as to Who it is? Is it Jesus’ face, or someone else’s?
Humble eyes remind us that someday we all will see, but that right now, only dimly, partially. Humble eyes remind us that the things we thought were most important in this life are really like child’s play in comparison to what is to come, and that the things we may have wondered about in terms of faith, hope, and love truly do matter, especially with respect to agape, which is the greatest gift of all, giving us the eyes to see and the vision to be the body of Christ.
Pastor Andy Kinsey