I love God’s Word. It reveals grace. It speaks truth.
Love must be sincere. – Romans 12:9
I have to admit, and I may sound a little irreverent here, but when I first read that verse: “Love must be sincere,” my initial reaction was: Well, Duh! Of course, love must be sincere! Isn’t that obvious? How else would we love? Duh!
Okay, that was my first reaction. Then, I stopped to think and asked myself: How differently would I love if I always chose to think about loving in absolute sincerity? How differently would I love if I invited God to fill me and lead me to love others with His full, perfect and sincere love? What would this mean? What would that kind of love be like?
It would be pretty darn radical, extravagant, outrageous, and seem downright crazy at times!
Loving others sincerely would not be conditional on anyone meeting a certain standard of behavior or following certain values in order for us to love them.
Loving others sincerely would mean that we send out no hidden messages. That we would love others with no falsehood at any level, at any time – with no hook and no hiding.
Loving others sincerely would mean that we love with no pride and no prejudice.
Loving others sincerely would not be dependent on them loving us first or loving us back or loving us according to our expectations, demands and desires.
Loving others sincerely would not require or demand anything from them – not even an apology – in order for us to deem them worthy of our love.
Now, this is not about foolishly or fearfully setting ourselves up to be hurt, nor is it to encourage anyone to stay in any kind of an abusive, destructive relationship. This is about loving another person, including ourselves, sincerely – God’s way! Loving others with God’s heart for them, and accepting God’s love for ourselves, means that we would no longer be controlled by our experiences of being hurt, rejected, abused or hatefully treated by others. We would be able to love others sincerely in, and only because of, the power of God’s love, grace and truth!
To be able to love others sincerely, we must, first, believe and hold onto the incredible truth of God’s perfect, unfailing, sincere love for us – the eternal love of our Holy God – for which our souls desperately crave. As we trust God’s love for us, we are set free to love others sincerely. We can be sincerely compassionate towards the failings of others – forgiving everything from their casual thoughtlessness towards us to their ugliest and cruelest sins inflicted upon us. This is exactly how the sincere love of Jesus loves us, and empowers us to sincerely love others.
So, maybe, “Love must be sincere” is not such a Duh! kind of statement after all. Rather, it is a high calling, a Jesus-like way to love another person that can only be done as we allow our God, who is Love, to transform our thinking, our words, our actions, our all!
To love as God calls us to love: “Love must be sincere,” we must be fully dependent on God’s powerful, faithful, forgiving, unchanging, unconditional, extravagant, outrageous and crazy love for ourselves and everyone else! Now that statement deserves a Duh!