Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9 (NIV)
Lorraine Koury is an American who loves Canada. Back in 2018 she wrote an article about that in the Globe and Mail and said, “You need to know that my husband and I weren’t looking for love, but there you were. Our love for you crept up on us slowly and, before we even knew what was happening, we were head over heels. The first thing that captivated us was, yes, the stereotype: Everyone is so very polite, so very nice.”
Too often human love comes with strings attached. If a person is kind to us, or expresses their love for us in some way, we respond in love. But Biblical love is something altogether different. The apostle Paul writes this in Romans 12:9: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” This is an interesting verse. Love and hate in the same statement. How can this be? First, loving like Jesus means we must love sincerely. There is no “I love you if” or “I love you, but.” Our love must be agape love – the sincere, no strings attached love of God for us. This is how we walk in relationship with others. So what about that “hate” statement. Well, it all goes together. If we truly love someone, we don’t want them to fall into the guilt and shame, the life destruction, that sin always brings about. God always knows the impact that sin brings about in the lives of those He loves. No wonder He hates sin. So must we – because we love those that sin can destroy. So love others sincerely and hate everything that will destroy their lives.
These have been words from the heart.