Love Without Hypocrisy

Most of us know that the greatest commandments are about love.  Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  However, it is easy to say we love God and our neighbor, but be lacking in true love.  Rom 12:9a “Let love be without hypocrisy.”

What is hypocrisy?  It is play acting or making a pretense and not being genuine.  In the case of love, it would be pretending to love God or our neighbor when in reality we don’t. 

Let us first look at hypocrisy in our love for God.  1 John 2:5 “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”  If you don’t keep His word in your life, then your love for Him is not genuine.  1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  Again, if you don’t keep His commandments, your love for His is not genuine.  1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  Do you love the world?  Do you love the activities and entertainment and physical pleasures of the world.  Do you harbor lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or pride of life in your heart?  Then your love for God is not genuine.  If you hate a brother, then your love for God is not genuine.  1 John 4:20-21 “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

Let us next look at hypocrisy in our love for our brother.  1 John 3:17-18 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”  It is easy to say we love someone, but if our deeds don’t show our love, then our love is not genuine.  How can you see a brother in need and close up you heart and not help him and still say that you love him?  Jesus gave the story of “The Good Samaritan” in Luke 10:30-37 to explain who our neighbor is and show what it means to love our neighbor.  The priest and Levite who saw the injured man and passed by on the other side of the road did not have genuine love for their neighbor. True love is characterized by you being patient and kind, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, where you keep no record of wrongs or delight in evil but rejoice with the truth, where you always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  Is this how you treat your neighbor or your brother in Christ?  If not, your love is not genuine.

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  When we have genuine love for each other, it will be obvious.  Others will see our love and know that we are His disciples.

Make sure that your love for God and your neighbor is without hypocrisy.

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