- About Us
Are You For Real?
March 28, 2011
Do you hate fakeness? Call it what you want—disingenuousness, lying, hypocrisy—but we normally reserve our largest frowns for that which is not real.
The call of our Lord is to take the metaphorical plank out of our eyes. We, as believers, need to always turn our eyes from hating the sin in others, to hating the sin in ourselves first and foremost. You know, you and I really need to stop. We need to stop and ask ourselves, “Am I genuine?” And more specifically, “Is my love genuine?”
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome and in Chapter 12 of his epistle he exhorts them: “Let love be genuine.” Undergirding this verse is Paul’s overall New Testament emphasis on love as the highest of virtues, the most essential of all actions, what we must have, what we must exhibit, what we must prize, what we must strive after.
1 Corinthians 13, in fact, is an entire chapter devoted and dedicated to the priority of love. Verses 1-3: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, soas to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up mybody to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Knowledge is nothing without love. Faith is nothing without love. And you know what? Stewardship without love is nothing. Even if we give away all we have and deliver up our bodies to be burned, but have no love, we are nothing. We can do all of the right outward actions, showing off the riches of ourlove, when in actuality our love is counterfeit. We may not possess the real thing. So—is your love genuine?
Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 13 to tell us what love looks like—it is patient and kind, it doesn’t envy or boast, it is not proud, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. But how do we do this? How do we generate a love inside of us that is genuine?
The Apostle John, called the “Apostle of Love” gives us some help. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love becausehe first loved us.” Our love is not self-generated—ever. In fact, may it never be! We cannot and should not try to convince ourselves of how lovable another person is, trying to talk them up in our heads. We cannot and should not flee these people either by trying to surround ourselves with only people that are “easier to love.” True love only comes from God. He is only sure foundation upon which true love can be built.
We love because he first loved us. Our love finds its genesis and genuineness in God alone. This loveis found in the Gospel. Romans 5 speaks of God’s love for us—while we were yet sinners, rebels, adulterous and idolatrous, haters of him, Christ died for us. Jesus Christ is the proof that God loves because God IS love, not because we are loveable.
We look to Christ for our love to be genuine. We love for no other reason than that God is love and we know this love through the cross of Jesus Christ. We see Christ’s example in the Scriptures. We bow our knees in prayer that we might become a little bit more like him. We remember his love for us, in the good news that God’s love is real, and we let this love, God’s love, overflow from our hearts. Don’t look to people to love people—look to Jesus to love people.
Be patient not with your love, but with Jesus’ love. Be kind with Jesus’ love. Rejoice in the truth with Jesus’ love.
Let your love be genuine. Let your love be Christ’s.