Read: Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
When we think of someone being a marked man, we think of someone who has been a target in a negative way, but there are certain markers in the life of a Christ-follower that are anything but negative.
It is not by accident that Paul begins this list with love, but notice that Paul isn’t speaking of some kind of emotional response instead, Paul describes love as an action, a way of being that is marked most of all by sincerity. There are those who want you to feel loved and there are others who actually love you. You can recognize the difference between a sincere love and a hypocritical self-serving kind of attention, can’t you?
Love that is sincere is free of deceit, free of hypocrisy. Sincere love is marked by a sense of genuineness. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
Maybe no word is more abused than “love.” The words above are not just intended for inspiration alone. John Piper sums it up this way –
“Love doesn’t put up artificial fronts. Love does not dwell on the flaws of others. Love does not crave the praise of men. And love does not act religious to hide sin. Love forgets itself and looks to Christ and overflows with joy in him to meet the needs of others. So let us look to Christ for everything we need.”