Mr. Barclay, again, on the beginning of 2 John:
(i) Christian truth tells us the way in which we ought to love. Agape (Greek #26) is the word for Christian love. Agape (Greek #26) is not passion with its ebb and flow, its flicker and its flame; nor is it an easy-going and indulgent sentimentalism. And it is not an easy thing to acquire or a light thing to exercise. Agape (Greek #26) is undefeatable goodwill; it is the attitude towards others which, no matter what they do, will never feel bitterness and will always seek their highest good. There is a love which seeks to possess; there is a love which softens and enervates; there is a love which withdraws a man from the battle; there is a love which shuts its eyes to faults and to ways which end in ruin. But Christian love will always seek the highest good of others and will accept all the difficulties, all the problems and all the toil which that search involves. It is of significance that John writes in love to warn.
The Evil One has done a snow-job on us. Today, even Christians talk about their “passion.” Feeling is supposed to be the most genuine part of humanity. But it’s a lie. The most genuine part, if we may talk of such things, is the will. It is what we decide to do.