Philos – Putting aside your soul for the brothers.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one put aside his soul for his beloved-friends. John 15:13 Literal

We know love by this, that He put aside His soul for us; and we ought to put aside our souls for the brothers. 1 John 3:16 Literal

This was never about dying for your friends or brothers. These are the true words,

  • tithémi: to place, lay, set aside
  • psuché: soul, the soul as the seat of affections and will, the self, a human person, an individual.
  • philos: someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.

Philos love is personal/reciprocal. Agape love is sacrificial. Jesus has personal friends. Among the twelve disciples, it was just one. The Church tells us that to have a “personal relationship” with Christ all one needs to do is “accept” it. By that logic, I accept your personal affections even though I don’t know you and I don’t care to do anything for you at this point in time, but, maybe later.

It becomes one chain among many, holding countless people down in a pit of impossible standards, “If you don’t show personal affection and friendliness and affirming love to people you don’t know and all these strangers” they preach, “your not following Jesus!” At the same time they are blind to this teaching of putting aside your own soul and pursuits for the brothers—even willfully blind, lest the rich man should be compelled to sell everything.

Consider the idea of putting aside all your living for the sake of your brothers versus only dying for your some random person you “kinda know”. Are you sure they are your brothers whom you died for? Who in the world ever dies for their brothers or friends, anyway? One in a million? Why die for a brother when you could live for them? And in living for them, would they not know also whom to live for?

Imagine belonging to a tribe where such philo-love exists.