Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12: 9

 

On the surface, this seems like a simple idea. Most people would accept it as valid. It is not connected to culture, history, or even to personal faith. Yet, the practice of living suggests that what is understood by the concepts of good and evil varies greatly among people, and what it means to love seems to change from time to time and from person to person with the sort of speed that a ceiling fan on high exhibits. Still, understanding love would seem to lead to grasping how to sort out good and evil so that good is embraced and evil is pushed away. But still, seemingly good intentioned people do evil deeds, and love that is all-consuming one day turns to animosity with the next dawn.

 

There would seem to be something amiss in the way that many of us are going about this thing that we can call loving. Perhaps we are confusing a passionate drive to please and to satisfy ourselves with love? Maybe it is time to carefully and prayerfully seek some sound and wise counsel on love and about entering into loving. I am suggesting that this world, our culture, and even the best of our personal experiences fall short in demonstrating and in promoting this form of love that is genuine; that is one that is real, unchanging, faithful, and all-encompassing. This is the love that God has for His creation. This is the love that Christ has demonstrated to us, and this is the love that is poured out upon us by the presence of Christ’s Spirit with us.

 

Christ’s love removes hate as it eliminates power and difference. This is a love that willingly sacrificed all in order to perfect its authority over all that is evil in this world. It is in this genuineness that Christ’s love enjoys this ultimate victory over evil and all of its ramifications. This is the love that Christ seeks for each of us to embrace so that we will think and act ever more like He did and as God wills for His people to do. Genuine love seeks to mend broken relationships, sets aside bias and fear in order to truly know people, clearly speaks truth with the intention to redeem that which is lost, and continually submits itself to Christ and to God’s word of truth. In these ways the genuine love that is Christ sets His people apart from our world and leads us to be defined by eternally formed good that we cling to with all of our being.

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