Today's Devotional Thought
January 17, 2011 by Wendy Foreman
Love Must Be Sincere
Love must be sincere. What does that mean? When I looked up the meaning of the word “sincere,” the words listed were honest, pure, and true. When it comes to my family and those I am closest to, these word ring true for me. Outside of that, however, it is a little harder to be honest. I love people but to say that the words honest, pure and true play out when it comes to loving everyone else, I hesitate.
I began to think about Jesus and how He had the twelve disciples whom he loved very much and then his inner circle with whom he was the most intimate. So I believe that there are definite levels of love. You see, those we are closest to we have invested in and confided in and are the most transparent with. But I also see that Jesus loved deeply those whom he encountered on his journeys. He seemed to have a genuine love for everyone that he spoke to. Jesus is hard to compare ourselves with, however, he is the best example. I believe that in our interactions with people, we must extend Christ’s love to them. We need to love and encourage them in their lives in ways that are honest, pure, and true.
While reading and researching these scriptures I read this in a commentary, “Most of us have learned how to pretend to love others---how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them. We may even be skilled in pretending to feel moved with compassion when we hear of others’ needs, or become indignant when we learn of injustice. But God calls us to real and sincere love that goes far beyond pretense and politeness. Sincere love requires concentration and effort.” I read this and felt convicted. I believe that many of us are guilty of the things that are mentioned in this statement. We sometimes don’t want to get too involved in other people’s lives so we just engage in conversation until we can leave and get on with our lives. Really, do we think that this is how Jesus acted and felt when he interacted with hurting people? Sincere love means that we extend to them kindness and love, let them know that we truly do care about them and their situations.
I think the problem with many of us is that we are wrapped up in our own lives. We are so busy with what we feel is important that we don’t really get involved in people’s lives enough to really get to know them and love them. There are people out there who really need encouragement; there are people going through devastating life situations and they are searching for some way to get through it. They need someone to tell them about Jesus and to honestly love them. Will that person be you? Are you listening for God to tell you who to reach out to?
I had an encounter with someone last week when I was working out at the gym and I had the opportunity to tell her my story and it seemed like God just opened the door wide for me to talk with her. And before I left, she looked at me and said “It is no coincidence that you were here tonight and working out next to me.” I left there in tears. We never know who God will put in our paths to talk to.
Memorize these verses today and ask the Lord to make your heart tender to those you encounter. Pray that God would bring someone into your path today that you could love and encourage in the Lord.