“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

The sentence “I love you” is common among people, especially people of opposite sex, either married or single. The sentence is so common that most people have lost or misinterpreted the real meaning of the most important word in it – love. To some, “I love you,” means I want to get something from you. To others, love is the glorified word for lust. The intention of “I love you” of others is to gratify their selfish desire. No wonder, love has become one of the most common words in any language.

What does love mean to you? How are you demonstrating it? Do you really mean it when you tell somebody, “I love you”? Paul described what love is and it is not in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (NIV).

So when I say “I love you,” what I am saying in essence is this: I will be patient with you; I will be kind with you; I will not envy you; I will not elevate myself higher than you; I will not be self-centered; I will not be easily provoked by you; I will keep no record of any wrong you do to me; I will not have hidden agenda against you; I will be truthful to you; I will protect you; I will trust you; I will have hope in you; I will persevere with you; and my love is not temporary. Anything short of these is hypocrisy and not worthy of the word itself.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and becauseI love you.”

–Isaiah 43:1-4

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