photo credit: sxc.hu
Romans 12:9 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Genuine love is something Jesus revealed to everyone he crossed paths with – to a blind man, to a rich man, to a prostitute, to his followers and disciples. He demonstrated his love countless times to people we would be afraid of, abhor and judge. I have only known a few people in my lifetime who have possessed this same rare beautiful trait. It is definitely something I do not possess but it is a Christ like trait I pray, I crave, to attain and model. Unfortunately, the enemy is always on the attack knocking and pinning me down to the ground, keeping from reaching out to others and share this loving behavior as Jesus did.
For so many of us, to have and share genuine love towards each other seems an impossible daunting task. Why? Because for so many of us, we hold onto the past, despite the fact that we have asked for forgiveness; we hold grudges, we are hypocritical, we hide behind barriers due to fear; we hide behind a false mask portraying a loving nature, when in reality it is all about displaying a great show and we speak lies. We constantly come up with excuses (which by the way I am very guilty of) – “well they don’t like me, I don’t know that person, well he or she looks scary or weird, I have problems talking to people,” the list of excuses goes on and on. All the while, the enemy snickers and slithers all around us laughing, tormenting us as he brings us down to our knees, hearts and souls broken, he thinks he has triumphed over each and every one of us. He knows if he can drive fear, doubt, hate, bitterness, anger or deceit into peoples’ hearts he scores points and prevents us from one of God’s greatest blessings - Love.
As Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry pointed out so well, “The professed love of Christians to each other should be sincere, free from deceit, and unmeaning and deceitful compliments. Depending on Divine grace, they must detest and dread all evil, and love and delight in whatever is kind and useful. We must not only do that which is good, but we must cleave to it. All our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, love.” Love must be sincere without hypocrisy in order to be genuine. Love does not harp on the faults of others or on any scores that might boast our egos. True, genuine love was when God gave his only begotten son to save us. As stated in John 3:16 (ESV), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of our sins. There is no greater example or model of genuine love.