Athlete, Stick with Love
Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
These five successive sentences, taken seriously and embraced, could change the world. Every locker room, neighborhood, community, nation would be different, better.
These lines reflect the very heart of God in Christ and represent some of the best relational lines in all of Scripture. Let’s unpack them together.
LOVE MUST BE SINCERE. Any form of love that’s not sincere is cheap imitation, a technical foul. Steer clear. It shouldn’t be called “love” at all.
Sincere love runs deep and suffers long. It “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
HATE WHAT IS EVIL. The Bible calls us to despise what is wrong. Forming deep, godly convictions here is crucial. And it also warns us that the weight of hate is a killer.
So be careful what you hate. Don’t go soft on evil or soft-peddle sin. But remember that Scripture says to hate WHAT is evil, not WHO is evil.
CLING TO WHAT IS GOOD. Know what good is and hang onto it with everything you’ve got. No moral compromise, only moral courage. Be immune to coercion. Never let go of what is good and right.
BE DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER IN BROTHERLY LOVE. When it comes to people, here’s the target to hit: “… stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear” (Martin Luther King, Jr.). Make loyalty and loving devotion run deep … and a sense of family grow bigger.
HONOR ONE ANOTHER ABOVE YOURSELVES. The best way to express love, to let it loose and make it last, is this. The best way to drop the burden of hate is to put personal pride to death, to forgive, and to honor others above self. Selfless sacrifice defines real love.
Reflect: How sincere, authentic, broad is your love? What kind of hate are you hanging onto?
A prayer to consider: Father in Heaven, thank You for coaching me at the heart level. I see it played out so well in Jesus. I want to love and live out my convictions like Him.
Help me to stick with love like a champ in a world that easily bails. I’m counting on Your Spirit in me to do this. For my joy, others’ good, and Your great glory. Amen.