The Greeks used four words to distinguish different types of love:
(1) Storge, which means natural affection;
(2) Eros, which means sexual attraction;
(3) Philia, which means emotional affection or friendship;
(4) Agape, which means unconditional giving, sacrificial love. When the Bible tells of God’s love for us and the type of love we are to have for Him and others, the word is always ‘agape’, indicating a commitment to act.
Do you know it’s possible to love someone you don’t even like? Indeed, if God is going to educate us to love, He will bring certain hard-to-love people into our lives. The truth is, our lives are full of people we don’t like. We do not like the way some people speak. We do not like the way some behave. We do not like what some people wear. But most of all, we tend to dislike people who don’t like us. If you think about it for a minute, you can probably produce a list of people you don’t like. They would probably be people with whom you have difficulty getting along. Everyone is hard to love sometimes—even you—but some are hard to love at any time.
Jesus never demanded that we have a tender fondness for everyone. He did not feel warmth for the Pharisees. We don’t have to like everyone—isn’t that a relief?—but we must love them. What does the Bible mean when it says, ‘Walk in love’? Like physical walking, this unconditional love
(a) requires effort,
(b) moves in a certain direction, and
(c) is something you do every day.