Devotionals, Faith, Family, Life, Prayer, The Bible, writings

Let Love be Genuine

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”—Romans 12:9 ESV

Love… I say I love you, Lord. I tell myself that you love me. You tell me that you love me. And how you have manifested your love! You have shown your love to me by sending your Son while I was your enemy. You show your love to me through your many daily blessings. Your grace is unfathomable. Day to day you provide me with life, nourishment, with what I need to live. You quench the thirst of my lips and that of my soul. Your love is real, it is genuine. It cannot be doubted any more than one can doubt the sun in the sky or the stars you hang in the heavens. Your love is more real than the air that we breathe. Your love is real.

My love for you? Oh Lord, I long for it to be real, to be a deep reservoir of devotion to you. I sing my love to you. I proclaim my love for you. But is it real? When I am tempted to go my own way, to forsake your commandments, is my love real? Is it real enough? When I disregard my siblings in the faith, when I neglect the people you have placed in my life, is my love real? Is my love for you genuine when I crowd out others for more, for a second helping, or the best seat? Is my love for you genuine when I spend analyzing people’s prayers rather than joining in? Is my love for you real when I am listening for someone’s error when they are sharing with me the sacredness of their lives?

Is my love true when I am more focused on getting things done so I can master my own time rather than subject it to the needs of others, or to spending time with you? Is my love true when I demand accommodation to my preferences when I deem only certain circumstances appropriate for time with you? Is it a manifestation of love to insist that children be quiet, dogs not bark, birds to hush their singing, all that I might find some sort of inspirational thought?

Can I claim to love you with my whole heart when I curse my brother? When I despise my father and mother? Is my love sincere when I growl in traffic or question the intelligence or cognition of others? Can I justly proclaim my devotion to you when I deviate so willingly from your heart, from your character? Lord, is my love real?

Oh, how I want it to be real! I think it is real, and yet, when I consider my ways and your ways, my love for you is so infantile. Like a child who throws a tantrum and screams “I hate you”, my ways must often seem to proclaim at best an indifference to you. And yet, you call me to love you, to trust you, as a child. As a babe clings to innocently and so instinctively to their parent, may I cling to you.

When I scream, rant, rave; when I turn aside to another way, Oh Father, call me back to you. Calm my childish insecurities and banish my selfish immaturities. May my love for you be both instinctive and cognitive. May I love you like the perfect Father you are, and yet grow to love you more than I do.

Do a work in me with your Holy Spirit, so that my love for you would be shown in how I treat and respond to others. Lord, may I love in action and not just in word! May I love in my mind, in my thoughts, in the quiet places that no one sees. For how can I love God, whom I cannot see, and hate those I can? Lord, in the loving of others, may I see them as you see them, even as you see me.

And my love for you, let it be genuine today. As genuine as your love for me. Amen

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