Romans 12:9a

READ:

Romans 12:9a

9a Let love be without dissimulation.

EXHORTATION:

The Bible frequently commands us to be sincere and genuine in our love for others, as it is commanded here (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22). “Dissimulation” means “hiding under a false appearance”. The words “without dissimulation” is translated from a Greek word anupókritos, which literally means “not hypocritical”. In our English Bible, this word has been translated as “unfeigned” (4 times), “without dissimulation” (once), and “without hypocrisy” (once). So, Paul is teaching us that our love for one another ought to be undisguised and sincere. It is the Christian’s duty not to fake love, but to love one another genuinely.

The Bible records many sad and treacherous expressions of hypocritical love, which serve as a warning to us. Psalm 55:21 warns us against those who hypocritically speak loving words: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” Proverbs 26:25 cautions us likewise: “When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

Sadly, hypocritical love has been found even among the followers of Christ. Judas is the archetype of all those who act with hypocritical love. When he betrayed the Lord Jesus, he sealed it with a kiss, the token of love. So, according to Luke 22:48, Jesus asked him, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Similarly, Ananias and Sapphira, who professed love and generosity towards the early church, were also exposed by the Holy Ghost as pretenders. The pretence of brotherly love, which is devoid of truthfulness and sincerity, is often the fruit of self-love.

Our hearts must be purged of self-aggrandisement and self-love so that we may love one another with sincerity. 1 Timothy 1:5 instructs us, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”. Christians must love one another in a pure way out of a pure heart for the sake of Christ. Beware of play-acting when it comes to showing love for one another.

Hypocrisy (the epitome of ungodliness) and love (the chief of all good virtues) are diametrically opposite of each other. Anyone who acts in pretentious love will soon, by his own acts, manifest his malicious heart. May we love one another with unfeigned love.

 

Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy, 8 August, 2018