Yesterday’s devotion was all about love for one another. Romans 12:9 says, “Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous” (TPT). Today, we will continue to look at the command to love. Remember: love God and love people. We read in this verse in Romans that our love must be sincere. Our love must be genuine. We cannot wear a mask.
I have to be careful when talking about masks. This past year, masks have become a topic of great division. But we are not talking about wearing face masks. I’m referring to the art of deception. This is something that people do, Christian and non-believer alike. The pretending. The not revealing your true self. Half truths. No truths. Fake smile. Back stabbing. You get the point. We all know someone who goes around wearing masks, pretending to be someone they are not. This mask wearing can cause a lot of damage. Not only is a mask wearer not being true to his or her self, but the mask wearer is causing a lot of hurt to a lot of people with the many lies. A relationship built on lies isn’t a true relationship.
Today’s verse is about being real with people about yourself. Love people for real. If you don’t love for real, if you aren’t being genuine, it will catch up with you. Now if you find yourself lacking in love — which I know I need a lot of growing to love like Jesus so maybe you’re like me — then allow God to work in you to grow your love. This is done by continuing to draw near to Him. Remember we love because He loved first. He is love. He alone can teach us to love like Him. Let Him speak to your heart. Let Him transform you from the inside out. Take actions in love, intentional actions that are loving actions. Even if you aren’t feeling it, take the actions. This isn’t pretending but trying to act in love.
There’s a difference. Pretending and wearing a mask is all about deception and putting on a show. You are “loving” people for attention, boasting opportunities, control, etc. You have your little fun and you go back to reality behind closed doors. You don’t even care about the turmoil you cause. Acting in love even when you don’t feel it is different. You are acknowledging with God that you aren’t feeling it, but you are working with Him, asking Him to help you to be who He created you to be in Christ Jesus. You are taking actions in love because you truly desire to be a person who loves one another. You desire to love. Your heart is wanting to love whereas the pretender really never wanted to love. It was just an idea, a show, something to do for a period of time to get something..
So today, as you consider this verse, pray. Seek the Spirit’s guidance. Are you wearing a mask? Do you need to learn how to love better? Have you been hurt by a mask wearer? Do you need to forgive a mask wearer who hurt you in the past? Seek out God’s love and grace and pray that He may cause it to overflow in and through you.