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Typically in the United States of America, when someone talks of love, the discussion is focused on romantic love. But in the Greek language, there are many more words to express this complicated emotion.
We hear around the fellowship someone say, “I love this program.” Tonight, we explore the many different ways we love this program and how we express that love.
The Greek language distinguishes at least four different ways as to how the word love is used. The four distinct words for love are: agápe, éros, (feelia) philía, and storg? (store-gae[).
Let’s talk about these 4 ways of expressing love as it relates to our recovery program.
First up, agape, or in english
Or, Simply, the love of God and all of creation.
How do you “agape” your higher power? How do you express this?
(Think of prayer, worship, giving time and money to organizations)
A traditional expression of agape is to care for the less unfortunate,
even if you do not know them.
Do you express this?
(think of the new guy, think of 12-step calls, think of service work)
What about being grateful is this a form of love expression?
How do you express gratitude?
Next up, Eros, or romantic love
Éros (???? ér?s) means “love, mostly of the sexual passion.”
Plato refined his own definition:
Although eros is initially felt for a person,
it becomes an appreciation of the
beauty within that person,
or can even become appreciation of
How does this romantic love apply in program?
Maybe dating in fellowship
Finding a mate in fellowship
Maybe, not at all
What about Plato’s understanding that Eros is a deeper love,
like the love of the beauty in something.
Think of the expression “I love this program”.
“I love the big book”
Now, (feelia) Philia (????? philía) or something like Brotherly love
Philia means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.” It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle.
Think of loyalty to friends (specifically, “brotherly love”),
love between family, between friends
requires virtue, equality, and familiarity.
How does this apply in your program?
How do you express Philia?
Lastly, Storge storg?) which means “love, affection” and “especially of parents and children”
It’s the commonly known as natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring.
How does this apply to you?
Think of sponsor or sponsee?
How did the program help you “Storge” your own family of origin?
We Have Calls
On this Valentine’s Day, what would you say to the new guy about love?
Check out this episode!