Humans have been known to warp and distort things that are good. We take the sweetness and enjoyment of food and turn it into an obsession of gluttony. We take the magic and beauty of sex in marriage and trample over it in our culture and outside the marriage. We have even warped our very selves. We were made and claimed by God that we were a good creation. We messed that one up pretty bad though. We are masters at manipulating and twisting things that were originally pure and good.
Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be genuine.” This is perhaps one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. This verse says so much about us and our interaction with love. This one sentence tells us all about our expectations of love. It tells us all about our failures with love. This one verse is loaded with truth. It is a verse that pierces our hearts in ways we never realized we needed.
Let love be. Those three words alone echo into the very core of my being. These words tell me everything I have done wrong with love up to the point of first reading them. Love is not something you force. It is not something you mold to fit your personal accommodations. Love is not something you fix. It is not something you do anything with. Love is meant to be freeing rather than shackled to fit our own purposes. Love is meant to be what love is. Love has its own terms. Love already has purpose. Love already knows what it is doing.
Love is something that must be genuine. Love is meant to be sincere and pure. Love cannot do what it is meant to do if it is corrupt. Love cannot be love if it is forced to be. Love is something that is meant to be natural as breathing. Love must be everything love is or it does not exist at all.
We twist love. We use love to meet our own needs and pleasures. It is used by the boyfriend to get sex or by the man or woman who desires something form their spouse. “If you really loved me. You would do this.” Love is something we assume can die out when its emotional highs fade. It is used as an excuse to break oaths made before God, family and friends. “I just don’t love you anymore.” Love is something we believe can fail when it is convenient for us to let it fail. We will love those who are easy to love. We will love those who love us.
It is twisted by making it me centered. Love is all about me. I need to feel and be loved. I must experience love from others. I will withhold love form someone when they anger me or do not give me what I desire. I will withhold love as punishment to let another know I am upset. We take a love that is meant to be pure and defile it. We cheapen love to get what we want whether it is sex, approval, status, affection, respect, or attention. We force love to fit a role it is not meant to fill. We make love more complicated than it was ever meant to be.
Let us go back to the simplicity of love. Let us let love be what love is. Let us go back to something that is simple, sincere, and pure. True love allows no deception, disguises, or masks. True love must be left genuine. It is time for us to let love be.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corin. 13:13)