Verse: Romans 12:9-10
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
In this passage, Paul gives us a profound insight into the heart of Christ-like living. He encourages us to embrace a love that is genuine, sincere, and selfless, a love that reflects the heart of Christ. This love is not an emotion or a fleeting feeling as our culture portrays, but instead is a deliberate decision to live out the teachings of Christ in our daily lives and relationships.
The verses begin by telling us to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. As followers of Christ, we are called to discern between right and wrong, based on what we know to be true in His Word. We are called to actively reject anything that goes against God’s will. This sounds simple, but is really hard in today’s culture because we’re not only surrounded by sin in a broken world, but we have nonstop, unrestricted access through technology. Thankfully, we’re not meant to do it on our own. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can rely on Him to guide our steps and to lead us to discern what we should engage in and what we should stay away from. Our love for God and our commitment to righteousness for His name’s sake should compel us to stand against the forces of evil all around us.
However, Paul doesn’t stop at avoiding evil; he also emphasizes the importance of actively demonstrating love towards one another. He calls us to be devoted to one another in love, showing genuine care, compassion, and support. This devotion requires us to prioritize the needs and well-being of others above our own. It challenges us to extend grace, forgiveness, and understanding, even when it may be difficult or inconvenient. Honoring and loving one another above ourselves is a radical concept in a world that often promotes self-centeredness and personal gain. Culture is screaming at us to put ourselves first. Yet, as Christians, we are called to reflect Christ’s sacrificial love. Jesus Himself demonstrated this love by humbling Himself, serving others, and ultimately laying down His life for our salvation. We’re called to grow more and more like Him each day in order to better reflect His love to the world around us. When we honor and value others, we reflect the character of Christ and become vessels of His love in the world.
These verses sound straight forward, but living out these verses doesn’t come naturally. Our natural state is sinfulness, in which we’re prideful, indulgent, and selfish. God saw us in all of our brokenness, and as a loving Father promised us not to leave us alone as He found us. In order to love others with this same sacrificial love, it requires a transformation of our hearts and minds. It is not something we can achieve in our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. As we surrender ourselves to God and allow His love to flow through us, we will experience a profound change in our relationships and interactions with others.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your perfect example of love through Your Son. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us and to help us better reflect You. Help us to love sincerely, hate what is evil, and cling to what is good. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above ourselves. Lord, help me to see the opportunities around me to love others the way you do. Help me to know what is good and use me to reflect Your light. Transform our hearts and minds, that we may reflect Your love to the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Author: Becca Artymenko