Let love be genuine

Let love be without dissimulation. Rom. 12:9

The phrase "without dissimulation" means to be genuine; it literally means to be “without hypocrisy” . The point is that it is not enough to pretend to be loving, we must be actually loving. It is easy to put on a façade and to deceive ourselves that we are what we are not. Putting on a smile and saying nice things does not make you a loving person. You can do that while having hate in your heart. It is so easy to deceive ourselves. We know we are truly loving when our commitment to labor for someone's good is not destroyed even when we are being inconvenienced or upset by him or her. It is what the apostle John is getting at when he wrote, “By this we know love, that he [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn. 3:16-18). What does it mean to have hypocritical love? It means to love only in word and talk. What does it mean to have genuine love? It means to love in deed and in truth, and that means selfless service to those whom we love.

It is often noted that Paul begins this list in Romans 12 of Christian virtues with love. It is no mistake that Paul does so, because love is the preeminent virtue, the grace that brings all the other virtues into operation (cf. 1 Cor. 13; Col. 3:14). Without love, none of the other virtues inculcated would be possible. Everything flows from love to God and love to man. It is the great commandment (Mt. 22:34-40). Evil is fundamentally the failure to love both God and man, and on the other hand, where evil is abundant, the love of many will grow cold (Mt. 24:12).

By: Jeremiah Bass