I was listening to a speaker talk about 1 Peter 1:22 the other day. The verse talks about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. The speakers sent a large portion of time talking about the phrase in that verse that says we to "have sincere love for your brothers." I also have spent a lot of time thinking about what sincere love is since I heard the message.
The original Greek word that has been translated sincere in this verse means "inexperienced in the art of acting, without a mask." The kind of thing talked about in this meaning makes it clear that the love being talked about in this verse is not just something we pretend or fake. It needs to be something that is real. Part of living out the Gospel in our lives involves us loving all people. This verse would say that, particularly when it comes to our brothers and sisters in Christ, we should not be faking it, but that our love should be real.
Those words were challenging to me. I wonder how many people there are that are much like me - we have become very good at pretending to love someone when we really don't. We fake it when we're around certain people, but it's nothing more than that. I've definitely done that . . . and I would imagine most people have.
Hearing this message and doing some more study on this verse really did challenge me in my own life. Who are those people that I only fake love for? Why do I just pretend to love certain people? What would it look like for me to have sincere love for others?