Romans 12 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I like it because it’s simple, direct, and relevant. It speaks to the essence of my Christian life. It reminds me, as Warren Wiersbe put it, that “doctrine and duty always go together.”
Each verse powerfully presents practical exhortations that, when applied, will make my life better. My relationships stronger. And my Christianity visible to others who witness my daily walk.
Today, consider Romans 12:9 and these three simple admonitions.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
(1) Let your love be sincere.
Love is the great theme of the Bible. Jesus said that all of the commandments are based on love. Either our love for God or our love for our fellow-man. (Matt 22:37-40)
But love is not an act. Or just being nice to others. Or engaging and exchanging in customary courtesies. Love must be real. Genuine. Authentic.
Dean O’Bryan reminds us that “our English word sincere has a story behind it. It’s from a Latin word meaning ‘without wax.’ That term grew from a practice of Roman merchants who sold porcelain and clay jars and pots. Their jars would sometimes have cracks — they’d just take some wax and fill the crack, then paint it — the buyer wouldn’t be any the wiser. Over time, buyers learned to hold clay jars up toward the sun and look inside — if a jar had a crack, the sunlight would show it up. Honest merchants labeled their jars and pots “sincerus’ — ‘without wax’”.
Our love must be without wax covering the cracks that we’re trying to hide. Our relationships with our family, friends and brethren must be based on honesty, sincerity, and openness. Real love does not have disingenuous motives. Or a hidden agenda.