How Well Am I Practicing Agape Love?


by Rick Duncan, CVC Founding Pastor

A Self-Assessment built from the 15 characteristics defining love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Think about your relationships with others at home, at church, at work, and in your neighborhood. Read each statement carefully and prayerfully. Ask the Lord to help you evaluate yourself.

Give yourself a grade from 1-10.
10 = Always true of me
7 = Usually true of me
5 = Sometimes true of me
3 = Rarely true of me
1 = Never true of me

___ I endure challenging people and situations with serenity and patience.

___ I show thoughtfulness and kindness, demonstrating that I care more for others than for myself.

___ I do not burn with envy nor grasp for the position or possessions that others have.

___ I do not brag, boast, strut, or seek to impress others; I am able to serve in obscurity.

___ I am not arrogant or conceited; I do not cherish inflated ideas about my own importance.

___ I am not rude; I do not behave toward others in improper or ill-mannered ways.

___ I am not a self-seeking, me-first person; I do not demand my own way.

___ I am not easily provoked, irritable, or touchy; I am not overly sensitive or easily offended.

___ I hardly even notice when others do me wrong; I do not keep a record of wrongs committed against me.

___ I do not take pleasure in tracking down or pointing out what is wrong with others; I don’t revel when others grovel.

___ I am glad when what is true prevails; I can rejoice even when facing the truth about myself.

___ I am loyal, never growing weary of showing support; I can bear insults, injuries, and disappointments.

___ I don’t lose faith in others; I look for the best in others; I believe the best about others.

___ I expect that the best is yet to come; my hope doesn’t fade away; therefore, I remain steadfast during difficulty.

___ I don’t give up; I endure all things, outlasting anything – not with passive resignation, but with triumphant fortitude.

Where did you score highest? Thank God that His grace to you has enabled that high score.

Where did you score lowest? Ask for God’s grace to repent and to grow in this area.

What steps could you take to grow? What steps will you take to grow? Who could help you?

With whom do you need to reconcile? What steps will you take? When will you start?

Note: This self-assessment was built from words and phrases found in the ESV, Amplified Bible, HCSB, TLB, NASB, J.B. Phillips New Testament, and The Message versions of I Corinthians 13:4-7. Words and phrases were also used from commentaries: I Corinthians by Anthony Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians by C.K. Barrett, and The Letters to the Corinthians by William Barclay.

A Prayer to Grow in Agape Love

Dear Lord of love,

I come to You today with a heart full of gratitude and praise for Your unfailing love. Your love is beyond measure and surpasses all understanding. I am in awe of the depth of Your love for me.

I praise You for the countless ways in which You have shown Your love in my life. You have been my refuge and strength in times of trouble, my comforter in times of sorrow, and my guide in times of uncertainty.

It is Your will that I should love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and I that I should love my neighbor as myself. But I have often failed to keep this Great Commandment.

Thank You for demonstrating Your love for me through the gift of your Son. He gave no thought to His comforts or earthly gain. Instead, He filled His days with deeds of selfless love. Through His death and resurrection, I have been reconciled to You and given the promise of eternal life. I thank You for the sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf, a sacrifice that could only be made because of Your great love for me.

Give me grace today to follow the road that He walked. Let my life be a channel through which Your love flows to the lives of those around me.

Lord, help me to grow in my ability to love like You. Help me to be patient and kind, not envious or boastful, not proud or rude. Help me to not insist on my own way, to not be easily angered or keep a record of wrongs. Help me to not delight in evil but to rejoice in the truth.

I pray that my love would be characterized by a willingness to bear all things, to believe all things, to hope all things, and to endure all things. May my love be steadfast and enduring, especially when I find myself in relationships with people who are hard to love.

I know that I cannot love others in my own strength, so I ask You to fill me with Your Spirit so I can show and share the love of Jesus where I live, work, and play.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.