In Romans 12:9, Paul states that “Love must be sincere.” Now comes the hard question … do we love with sincerity in the church?
We certainly preach love in the church. I’m sure of that. I’m equally sure that many non-churched folk accuse church folk of being hypocrites … so something isn’t connecting somewhere, and chances are it has something to do with love and not walking the talk.
It’s easy to point the finger elsewhere. It’s harder to look in the mirror. But let’s do it anyway. Consider the following questions; you get a point for each time you answer “Yes”:
- Did you ever say, “I’ll pray for you” then didn’t?
- Did you ever resent someone else’s success or prosperity or blessing?
- Did you ever say, “We must get together sometime!” and be glad it never happened?
- Were you ever in a situation where you should have confronted sin, and didn’t?
- Did you ever avoid saying hello to a new person in the church?
- Did you ever gossip about people in the church … or outside of it?
- Did you ever say, “How are you?” and not listen for the answer?
- Have you ever been too proud to say, “I’m sorry”?
- Did you ever refuse to give when you could have done so?
- Did you ever turn a blind eye to someone else’s suffering?
The list of questions could go on and on, but we’ll stop at ten. How many times did you answer “Yes”? For each “Yes,” you are admitting that you lacked sincerity. You claimed to love … but you didn’t act it out.
Love is an action verb. We treat it like a piece of cotton candy fluff … “I love you!” “I care about you!” “I’ll be there for you!” … but it goes no farther than the words on the air.
God’s love is active. It is passionate. It goes the extra mile … right to Calvary. There’s nothing fluffy about God’s love. Nothing vague when he says, “I love you.”
Since we are to imitate God’s love, Paul states that “love must be sincere.” It’s got to be honest. True. Pure. Genuine. Which means it’s got to take action. In II Corinthians 5:14, Paul says, “the love of Christ compels us.” Do you feel compelled by love?
© 2009 Paula Marolewski