9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1).
Paul prays their love would not just “abound” (meaning “to overflow”), but that it would do so “in real knowledge and all discernment” — knowledge having to do with doctrinal understanding, and discernment having to do with ethical behavior. He prays for this, yet, when you think about it, agape love cannot exist any other way. God’s kind of love is not soft. It forfeits neither truth nor morality in its application.
Indeed, the true test of agape love is just at this point. Does it acknowledge eternal truth, or sweep it under the rug? Does it adhere to moral standards, or compromise them? I once was accused of being unloving (even “rude”) because I lovingly confronted a church member with the truth of his immorality for having impregnated a young woman and then living with her out of wedlock. Sad — they didn’t recognize agape love when they saw it.
Lord, we thank You for showing us agape love by revealing the truth about our moral condition. Should the opportunity arise, help us This Day also to show agape love to others. Amen.