Romans 12:9-10 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves
I read this a few days ago and I have been really meditating on it. Love must be sincere. It must be real. When we are called to love one another - it means REALLY love one another. I hate knowing that someone is "loving" me to my face, but on the inside are thinking otherwise. It's not a sincere love. The fake smile, the fake cheerful voice, the fake care about how you are doing.... fake. Fake. Fake. But our love is supposed to be real.
One way that we can show our love for one another - and it's a love language as well - words of affirmation. Honor each other. It's amazing how much your attitude towards someone can change when you start to think about their positive attributes. You may not get along with them. They may irritate you. They may abuse you. They may hurt you. But we aren't called to love JUST the people who deserve it... because in the end, no one would be loved. We are called to just love.
Genuine and sincere love does not just honor people when they are present - in fact that can often give the impression of insincerity. Our love for one another is revealed by what we say behind their back. Is it gossip? Is it nasty? Is it rude? Does it build them up? Does it tear them down? Does it promote harmony? Would they be hurt by what we say? We can also show our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ by speaking about them behind their back.
"Oh that Jenny... have you heard her sing? Amazing voice!!"
"Naomi has such a passion for kids ministry. I really admire that about her."
"Phil has such a good heart."
In Romans 14:9 it says "So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up."
We build each other up with our words and our deeds. We can destroy people just as easily. If our love is sincere we will build them up by honoring them. If your love is insincere - you won't acheive anything of the kind.
Loving one another does not mean you have to be best friends with them. It doesn't mean you even have to have a relationship with them. Some people it's unwise to be friends with - especially those who abuse, use and hurt on a regular basis. But that doesn't mean you have to stop loving them and honoring them.
So try it... go on! I dare you. Show your committment to loving one another with sincerity by vocalising sincere honor. Love one another and speak about them behind their back.. in a good way.