Please don’t homogenize! – Romans 12:9

Romans 12:9-13 sent me to the Lexicon in that the Apostle uses some unusual words.  Now here is the first phrase in the ESV

“Love must be sincere”

Ok, good.  The Greek word is “anupokritos”, which is literally “not – hypocritical”.  Not hypocritical does mean about the same as “sincere.”  However, to my ear, sincere seems rather homogenized – like a glass of skim milk with a slice of wonder bread.

Not-Hypocritical gives me something a little more substantial – more like a cup of French Roast coffee with a wild berry scone.  There is more to work with.  Non-hypocritical love would be actual and not acted, it would be internally real, not externally painted on, it would mean we don’t resort to an old canard such as “I love you but I don’t have to like you”.  It would be love that is not expressed by a check list of social obligations. It would be love that sees the person and gives what they will rejoice to receive.

Interestingly “Love” is defined in part by hate.  In the next phrase we read: “Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.”  So sincerity in love is also discerning.  Love is not a fuzzy all accepting hug of everything.  True love also hates what is evil while it grasps on to what is good like an Olympic wrestler.

New Living Translation: Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

ESV:  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

New King James:  Let love bewithout hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

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