Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
LOVING & NURTURING OTHERS
The God-infused love of agapê relates to the steady intention of one’s will toward another’s highest good, it chooses to seek the supreme good for both unbelievers and believers. Clearly, the greatest good for those who do not know Christ is to be delivered from the domain of darkness, death, and condemnation and to be transferred to the kingdom of the light, life, and love of God (Colossians 1:13–14). And the highest good for those who do know Christ is to mature into His likeness through growing conformity to His image (Romans 8:29).
All of us give our lives in exchange for something, whether this is temporal or eternal. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). If we are wise, we will follow Jesus by giving our lives in exchange for people. The apostle Paul knew this was the most significant way to live: “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). As Dag Hammarskjold noted, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.”