Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 17, 2013

"Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves." Romans 12:9-10
Who doesn't want true love? Who wouldn't benefit from it? What church couldn't use more of it? True love is hard to find. Maybe that is because it is hard to do. Which could be why it is hard to recognize.
In these two verses Paul gives us perhaps the most concise description of true love found anywhere - even more concise than I Corinthians 13.
Life is all about relationships and therefore, love is essential. God wired you to thrive within loving relationships but sin infected your nature with selfishness and selfishness is the great "anti-love".
So, the reason it is hard for you to love me is because you love yourself more. Until you want to love more than be loved you will struggle with true love. Wow, that's honest!
Perhaps that's why this verse describing true love begins by demanding honesty. Until you are honest about your lack of love how can you ever hope to honestly love?
Selfish love is manipulative. It always look for an edge or an angle to get what it wants. When you are angling for what YOU want you will not be interested in what I want. Selfish love is the "anti-love".
Insincere love uses people rather than serves them. When I feel used by you not only do I not feel loved by you, it can erode my self-esteem. No one wants to feel like an object.
How do you get over the selfish love so you can love others with a sincere love?
Back to the honesty! True love begins with you repenting to God for your selfish love. Call it what it is - SIN. Do you find it interesting that the first three letters of sincere are "SIN"? The root of all sin is selfishness and that must be dug out by the root! Only the God of perfect love can do that.
The antidote for selfish love is God's love. Maybe that is why Jesus commanded us to "Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself". Until you love God more that you love you it will be impossible to love others without trying to manipulate them. Actually, you will try to manipulate God, too!

Get over it! Root out SIN and get sincere!