9 Love must be sincere..—Romans 12:9a NIV
Unfortunately, the English language has one word for “love” so it can be confusing as to what we mean some times. To say we “love” our family, “love” our car and “love” ice cream, we use the same word, but the depth of feeling for each category would not be the same (at least, one would hope not). So, what does sincere love mean and how do we show it? The Greek language has five or more words that can be translated “love”. The Greek word used here is “agape” which means affection, good will, love, or benevolence. So, the definition gives us some hints of what it is and how we can show it. Affection means to show tenderness or warmth to others. There are instances of people who have broken into tears because someone has tenderly touched them. The human touch is an amazing thing and it is one way we can show sincere love. Just as Jesus touched the lepers, we must be willing to touch the “untouchables”. We can show sincere love with our benevolence. This can, but does not necessarily, include monetary gifts. Jesus said a cup of water given in His Name was showing your love for Him. It can be as simple as a smile or a hello or it can be complex, as shown in the story of the Good Samaritan. Either way, it requires us to be involved in the lives of those around us. One study has shown that it takes at least seven touches to lead someone to Christ. We can show sincere love by being one of the seven.