Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let love be without hypocrisy

Romans 12:9 (KJV) days Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

I really got stuck on Let love be without hypocrisy. The ESV says: Let love be genuine. I meditated and journaled on this yesterday and today and thought I would share.

When I seek out a definition for love, I am usually led directly to 1 Cor. 13. As most people probably are being that it is called the love chapter.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (ESV)

That is a tall order to do with people whom we spend our lives with, whom we have emotional attachments to. We fail over and over miserably with them. Most of the time we don't even try to do that with others we don't know; we do even less of it with people we don't care for or whose who are not like us.

But who are we commanded to love?

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another fulfills the law.

Romans 13:10 Love does not harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Matthew 5:43-45
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Loving without hypocrisy, loving genuinely is not easy. As a matter of fact it is impossible in ourselves. It is only possible through His Spirit dwelling in us. Only when we are full of Him, when we have brought all of our needs to Him and we are not seeking to have them filled any other way, can we poor out unconditional, overflowing, never ending, genuine love. He is the only source of love. We cannot manufacture it or find it in ourselves or anyone else. We can only receive love from Him and give genuine love out to others from the river which flows out of us by His Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We can be fulfilled in Him and then seek to give or serve with no thought of return because He is our source and we are always full in Him.

He is the only source of unconditional love. Our love always contains conditions. We always have mixed motives and in our giving love we are seeking to receive something back. Perfect love originates in God and exists in us only as we exist in Him and He in us.

I John 4:16
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

I John 4:19
9 We love because he first loved us.

As He is the only source of love, as He is love, we can only love through Him. His love abides in us and flows out of us. This means that those who do not know Him cannot truly love. Love involves sacrifice; it involves placing others above oneself. The world does not and cannot teach us that. Sin causes us to love only self. The world does not understand it; the world sees this type of behavior as foolish; love comes only from God. Anything called love which does not originate from God is not love no matter what it is called. Love outside of God is hypocrisy.

I John 4:9-11
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 comment:

  1. So much to think about here--thank you! And thank you for visiting my blog today.

    I've been meditating on this same thing--love without hypocrisy, self-less love. Worked on it this week by trying to do everything for Jesus--all the Christmas baking and cooking, cleaning etc.--and then I didn't EXPECT anything from anyone else, since I was doing it just for Him. I think it was the best Christmas yet.