This is what Paul writes in the book of Romans 12:9: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
What I love about this passage is Paul doesn’t bother to explain the “why” behind the first part of this verse (i.e. why must love be sincere?) It is one of my favorite things about his writing style. There are some things that he encourages us to do and because they are so fundamental and logical no explanation is needed. He doesn’t say “Love must be sincere because…” He simply leaves it up to us to understand the importance of being sincere.
So today men, I ask you whether or not your love is sincere? The love you have for your wife, girlfriend, friends and family, is it sincere? More importantly do they believe your love for them is sincere?
Trust me gentlemen, especially when it comes to women, they will know when your love is not sincere. They might not tell you how they feel nor will they usually let it show that they are on to you. Yet they can always tell when something is amiss. This is especially true if you aren’t being sincere in your love and affection.
I love the movie “The Prestige” if you haven’t seen it you should. It is well acted and the plot is creative. One of the main characters, Alfred, is played by Christian Bale. During the course of the movie Sarah, his girlfriend/wife, asks him “Alfred do you love me?” With the exception of one time towards the end of the film he always says he loves Sarah. However, her reaction is that she can always tell the days he does and the days he doesn’t.
As men, when it comes to outsmarting or lying to people we believe we are the best in the businesses, especially when it comes to fooling women. I am here to tell you that we aren’t fooling anyone other than ourselves. Women know and can tell when you aren’t being sincere. They may go through brief periods of denial but deep down they always know. Women generally allow us to keep digging our own holes until we are so deep we need someone to help us get out! It can be a very painful experience for everyone.
That is why I am writing to you today. I want to encourage you to love people sincerely. Be genuine with the people you care about. Don’t let familiarity rob the power of the words “I love you.” Simply being convincing isn’t enough, you have to mean it.
The key to loving sincerely is through our actions. It is easy to say words that we don’t mean. Anyone can say they love you to get what they want (we-men, are terribly notorious for this) but not actually care about you sincerely.
Jesus said to his boys: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:12-14 (NIV)
Even Jesus knew love without sincerity is mostly meaningless. Loving sincerely means you will lay down your life for those you care about. Jesus wasn’t necessarily talking literally here, although giving your life for someone is also expected, it is not limited to just that. He is simply saying that when you sincerely love someone you will serve them and lay down your own agenda and motivations in order to love them.
Our biggest problem in this area is the whole “I don’t feel like I love them.” This is probably one of the worst rationales humans have ever come up with. Christ didn’t say that you should lay down your life for someone when you feel like you love them. He said when you love someone you should lay down your life for them.
If you love someone you love them all the time. Not part time. Not 3/4 of the time. All the time. We may “fall” in love with people but it is our choice to continue to love them. Loving people isn’t always easy but as followers of God we must choose to love people even when it is difficult and inconvenient. Any one can love someone when it is easy.
Real men (and real women) love at all times and they do so sincerely. That doesn’t mean we are perfect or that we follow through all the time but we are asked to try. Therefore we must.
I leave you with a thought and also with some encouragement. First, who in your life do you claim to love but have recently been loving without the sincerity Paul and John write about in the Bible? Seek God and ask him to show you. You may be surprised at what he will tell you. God wants to see all your relationships restored to right standing, therefore there is no judgment (‘There is no condemnation in Christ Rom 8:1.) If you are confused about how to show love sincerely ask God, He will show you. Everyone wants to be loved sincerely and if you pay attention you will see how people in your life desire to have love expressed to them.
I leave you with a scripture we all know or have heard but you cannot escape the beauty and sincerity of God’s love in it: “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Love sincerely and I promise you, your life will change in amazing ways! Your marriage will be stronger. You will have more joy, patience and peace and most importantly God’s light will shine through everything you do.
Until tomorrow, make it a better day!