It’s a short verse. In fact it’s only part of a verse, but God’s Word is powerful, and awfully convicting.
I read this verse earlier this summer and have been thinking about it a lot since then. It has been convicting me of the way I love others.
When I hear the word hypocrisy I think of Jesus confronting the Pharisees in Matthew 23:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
How often is my love for others full of hypocrisy? How often does it appear beautiful and genuine, but in reality is disgusting and smothered in self-promotion and pride? How often is my love fake?
To let my love be without hypocrisy, that has been my prayer! To love like Jesus loved. He ate with the despised people in the communities (Matthew 9:10) not to get something from it and gain public approval (which didn't happen), but because He genuinely cared for the lost. He loved purely. He loved without hypocrisy.
It’s interesting that this verse is the first of twenty-seven commands from Paul on how to treat believers in the Body. He begins with true, pure love.
I’m no where close to that. I’m still finding that my love is tainted with hypocrisy. I’m finding that selfishness and pride are intertwined with love. But there is One who does love purely. There is One who has redeemed me and is sanctifying me day by day. And it is in Him, the one true God, that I am seeking to help me love without hypocrisy.
To love brothers and sisters in Christ, to love friends and family, to love without hypocrisy, that is my prayer.