Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
Seems like a simple enough verse, but this time, when I read it again, it really penetrated my heart. Being a newlywed, I got to think a lot more about love these days. What does love look like? How do we love well? and so on. Yes, of course love must be sincere. But what really caught my attention was what directly followed it, “Hate what is evil”. How do we know love towards God is sincere? We hate what is evil. God hates sin, and this is a question that we should all be asking ourselves: Do we hate sin? Do we hate what is evil? The Greek origin of the word “hate” is “ἀποστυγοῦντες”, it translates to “abhor” (regard with disgust and hatred) That’s a strong word. I would say sin bothers me, yes, and I try to stay away from it but I don’t think I regard it with such disgust. To be perfectly honest, sometimes certain sin does not seem so bad. I needed to check myself, and question my sincerity.
It moves on to the next part which says “cling to what is good.” That seems quite vague, but I was immediately reminded of Romans 7:18 “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Then where is the “good” that I need to cling on to?
No one is good but One, that is, God. -Mark 10:18
We need to cling to God. It is as simple as that. The Greek origin of the word “cling” being “κολλώμενοι”, means to glue, and to unite. Not only be close to God or be near him, but actually glue ourselves to become one with God. The perfect union, cling on to him with our dear life and more and more by the power of Holy Spirit we are going to love what God loves and hate what God hates. Because we are one.
Lord, countless times I said I loved you, but I never really hated what you hated. Teach me how to cling on to you to so tightly and to stay away from evil at ALL times. Amen.