Let Love Be Genuine

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9, 10 RSV

Valentine’s Day decorations flood the stores right now with hearts, flowers, lace, jewelry, and candy. Some items are fun to see for a week or so, and then end up as clutter or are packed or thrown away. Others are beautiful or delicious. Don’t forget the cards! Choosing a Valentine’s card from the wide selection can be a bit overwhelming. My husband has learned that I like cards that express a loving feeling, so he usually gets me one written in that style, yet he prefers the humorous cards, which fit his fondness for making jokes and telling funny stories. No card will adequately express how much I love my husband, my grown children, or my friends and relatives, yet I still have much to learn about loving them more genuinely and showing them honor.  

The Apostle Paul wrote to Christians telling them, and us, to let love be genuine. The NLT version says, Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

Think how wonderful the world would be if everyone really loved each other. Genuine love is patient and kind. I know I need to grow in this; how often I have shown my impatience at delays, interruptions, or at someone not hearing me when I’ve said something three times already.  

When people disappoint us or hurt us, sometimes it’s easy to dislike or even hate others. Instead, may we hate what is evil or wrong, and hold tightly to what is good. I’m not suggesting anyone should stay in a dangerous situation. There are consequences for the person’s behavior that may require distance even after forgiveness has been given. However, when a person is rebellious or difficult, we can lose sight of the good part of the person. Our focus can become that of gossiping about and belittling the person with whom we have problems. Anger and resentment will eat at our peace and joy. 

Genuine love shows no partiality, it does not play favorites. When we love each other in sincerity, we can live in harmony with each other.  Real love serves other people. Real love honors others.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10 NLT  

How can we honor others above ourselves?  This is only a short list. Feel free to send me more ideas that can be shared.

  • Honor the Lord God in all that we say, do, and think.
  • Show respect.
  • Really listen to what others say to us. Engage in what the person is saying by paying attention.
  • Listen to the same story someone shares even though we heard it fifty times before. Laugh if appropriate.
  • Don’t gossip.
  • Put another’s needs before our own.

Boyd Bailey gives several suggestions of ways we can honor others in Honor One Another. Consider this excerpt:

How else can you honor those in your circle of influence? One wise habit of humility is to ask a friend for advice and then act on their advice. A spouse or colleague feels valued when their suggestion makes a positive impact on your life. When you truly listen to another’s opinion you give oxygen to their esteem and you give respect to the relationship. Honor accepts a person where they are and looks to discern their heart.

Used with permission from Wisdom Hunters. See additional insights on honoring others in Honor One Another by Boyd Bailey at Wisdom Hunters

Let’s delight in honoring each other! May our love for others be genuine.

Lord, thank you for being the ultimate example of genuine love. Help us to love our families, friends, strangers, and ourselves as You love. Help us to delight in honoring others.

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Thank you for joining me and for reading my blog. Devotionals post every other Thursday, with past devotionals archived. You may follow my blog and it will be sent to you. Please leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you! ~ Kathryn

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