based on, Not Made to Be Alone, a LGG Study, w4d4
Today’s Reading: Romans 12:9-21 / SOAP: 10
Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another.
Outdo one another
We talk so much about loving others that the ‘lesson’ can sometimes become old or stale and easy to brush off. But today’s passage isn’t just about loving others or even how we show love, instead it focuses on making sure our love is devoted, mutual, and eager to honor the other – or as one translation puts it – “Outdo one another in showing honor”. These other translations are helpful as well.
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. NIV
- Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, NASB
- Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. CSB
- Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. NLT
- Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; KJV
To truly love like verse ten teaches, we must first heed Paul’s words in verse nine of chapter twelve, that says, let your love be without hypocrisy. In other words, their love – like ours – is to be ‘genuine’. Only this genuine love will translate into the love that Jesus described in Mark chapter twelve as the second greatest commandment, which is loving your neighbor (or those from your community of faith) as yourself. When this is the love we possess/share we will be able to fulfill Paul’s teaching of being devoted to one another in love, sharing a mutual love, and eagerly honoring (greatly valuing) each other.
The impact of Real love
When we “love really” we will fall into step with the rest of Paul’s instructions. We will be enthusiastic in spirit and serve the Lord. We will rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, and persist in prayer. We will contribute to the needs of the saints and pursue hospitality. We will bless those who persecute us. We will rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We will live in harmony with one another and we won’t be haughty but associate with the lowly. We will not be conceited. We will not repay anyone evil for evil but consider what is good before all people. If possible, so far as it depends on us, we will live peaceably with all people. We will not avenge ourselves but give place to God’s wrath, because we know vengeance belongs to the Lord. Instead, when our enemy is hungry we will feed him, if he is thirsty we will give him drink, and we will not be overcome by evil, but we will overcome evil with good.