Let love be without hypocrisy.. (Romans 12:9a NKJV)
This can also be said in another way; let (your) love be sincere, genuine and real. The word that bounces of the page for me here is hypocrisy and this is what we’re going to explore further in this post.
How can we describe a hypocrite?
- a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
- a person who feigns (fakes) some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
in essence, hypocrisy is the act and the hypocrite is the actor.
I don’t think it’s a coincident that our Lord Jesus Christ used this term repeatedly in scripture to describe the scribes and Pharisees. Their self-seeking deeds contradicted their moral speech and exposed their hardened and sinful hearts. They revealed in their deeds what no other could see in their hearts but Christ. And he called them out on it.
“The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat [of authority]. So observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach, but do not practice.. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)!” (Matthew 23:1-3,13.. AMPC Emphasis mine)
Hypocrisy and falsehood are character traits that directly oppose the character and purposes of God. Remember that the Lord searches the heart and motives behind your actions, so be careful to examine yourself continuously to ensure that you don’t fall into either of these categories, especially in the area of loving others.
I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10 AMPC)
Let your love towards others not be an act, but a genuine expression of your desire to serve them. Let your love towards others not be merely superficial, but let it be deeply and sincerely rooted in deeds of faith. Let your love flow out from a heart of gratitude towards the Father who first freely lavished His love on you.
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18 NKJV)
It’s not always easy to display this type of love. This demanding call to love others often exposes our self-serving sinful nature. We have a propensity to accept people if they accept us. We tend to help people if they help us. We tend to love people only when they love us. But the true love that comes from the Father above is the voluntary, steadfast kind of love: loving by way of choice, not based on certain conditions being met by the receiving party, but by virtue of your character.
Love people regardless of the scars they may leave behind in your life. Love people regardless of whether they seem deserving of it or not. Let every single person you cross paths with be able to pinpoint real examples of when you demonstrated love towards them in deed with a pure heart. This is what pleases our Father in heaven.
– JO Adeluola