Love must be completely sincere…

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Our blogs from local Christians continue on the theme of ‘what is true love’? Simon Cockshutt considers the authenticity of love, and how we can look to demonstrate that to those around us by ‘looking to the rock from which we are hewn’…

“I think these days we are hungry for authenticity. So much about our culture and politics is so fake and superficial that we long for the genuine version of something. We want people we can trust around us. People who “get us” and  don’t undermine us. I think the first passage is a call to arms to remind us that if we want this from other people we need to be like that ourselves. It’s no good expecting one standard from them and being ‘flakey’ ourselves.

“Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.”

Romans 12:9 GNT

The word itself “Love” is elusive in meaning. When we use it it can have four or five shades of meaning, But for our love to flourish, as it is meant to, God wants it to be deeply anchored in what is good. We need therefore to keep him in sight trying to to let his love rule our lives and our behaviours.
It isn’t easy and we must be realistic about it and acknowledge that every now and then we will fail and people we know quite well will also fail. By holding onto “the good” we see beyond our failures and acknowledge that the human heart is born to be noble. The good in people mostly outweighs the evil they do. As it says in the gospel of John “the light is stronger than the darkness.”

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn” 

Isaiah 51:1 NIV

Of course sin by it’s nature is wrong. We are however called by Christ to love the person who sins. We can love them without condoning or “agreeing” to their sin.St Thomas Aquinas says –“To Love is to will the good of another” – to keep treating people with goodwill in difficult or perplexing circumstances is a sign of God’s kingdom of love being built in us.
To give us strength to do this we look to the rock from which we are hewn. We are cut from the rock of God, the sure rock who saves us! A rock that is steadfast in whose cleft we can shelter when the storm comes. Not a crumbly rock! Because it is good quality rock that we come from it can take a while to quarry us. God is a rock of love … from which more love can be quarried.”
Dear Lord, strengthen and purify my love. Lead me into your kingdom of love. Let me be real with people, whole hearted, sincere, loving and teach me how to eject evil from my life! Amen
Simon lives in Ipswich and works in London. He is a member of Burlington Baptist Church where he is a Trustee. He believes passionately in prayer and is involved with leading Ipswich Men in Prayer.
The thoughts expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Network Suffolk.
To see Shane Hughes recent blog on ‘What is True Love?’ click here