“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
I mentioned last time that one aspect I appreciate about Paul’s letters is how they reveal his heart. This verse points to another aspect of his writing: his ability to cut through to the bottom line of living like Christ.
Just the first sentence is enough to chew on for a while. What does “sincere” mean? We know the dictionary definition – simply put, “to be genuine.” But what does sincere love look like in daily life? And if we add on the instruction to love those who have hurt us (or those who are not so loveable), sincere love becomes even more of a challenge, doesn’t it?
Yet, Paul shows us by his own choices that it can be done, and the next sentence tells how. We are to cling to good in our thoughts and actions. We make the decision to show love for others, to consider their needs, to serve them. But as we follow Paul down that path, we also must follow his example of leaning on Jesus for the strength to do it. Otherwise, our love may become less sincere and more conditional.
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