Brotherly Love on Dacey Reservoir

My son Doug and brother Bruce, launching into Dacey Reservoir (Grant Range in the background)

The Greeks have four words to describe love based on their observations on the subject. There is their word éros (ἔρως) to describe “physical” passionate love that carries a sensual desire and longing; a more self-centered “erotic” driving force. Then they have philia (φιλία) to describe a “mental” love, an affectionate regard or friendship that exhibits the give and take seen in families and friendship (the root of Philadelphia, city of brotherly love, originates from philia). Their word storge (στοργή) describes “affection” as in a parent’s natural affection for its offspring. Most importantly, they have agápe (ἀγάπη) to describe a “spiritual” love, a true sense of unconditional love that is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return. Agápe is the word used in the Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13; it is a sacrificial and spiritual love. I believe all four words are used in the Bible, but perhaps a more scholarly Bible reader will post a correction to that assumption.  Anyway, the point is that in context each clarifies what God was saying in the Holy Scripture.

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Faith in Dacey Reservoir, Wayne Kirch WMA

Dacey Reservoir after a morning of angling.

In my Paul/Timothy group we were discussing “faith” and in particular its two elements: belief and trust. You may say you believe something to be true, but if that belief lacks trust it may not result in a corresponding action. The analogy used in our discussion was that of a tightrope walker. Assume you had observed him crossing back and forth several times on a tightrope, so when he asked if you believed he could do it again a reasonable answer would be “yes”. But if he then invited you to climb on his shoulders while he walks the tightrope, wouldn’t you likely decline due to a lack of trust? This concept works in the workplace, as without trust employees are unlikely to follow their managers; they may believe their manager knows what he’s doing but if they don’t trust their manager it’s unlikely they’ll follow them when the going gets rough. Biblically, we see this concept as “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17 NIV).  

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