We’ve been focusing on Romans 12:9-20 for the last few weeks, and we’re going to continue over the next few weeks. The core of this series of messages has been the idea from verse 9 that “love must be sincere.” Grammatically speaking, this section is one long run-on sentence. Throughout the rest of this section of Scripture, there is a series of phrases that all link back to this statement. The sentence is a detailed description of how love must be sincere.
I’ve focused on one attribute of sincere love, that it is good thing to which we must cling, which is why I’ve called the series “Clingy Love.” My intent has been to show us that, not only must our love be sincere, it must also cause us to hold on to each other. Jesus said in John 13:35 that the world will know that we are Jesus’ disciples by the way we love each other. That will be through our sincere, clingy love for each other.
When does the world see that kind of love in the church? When we’re clinging together. And that usually happens in two kinds of occasions: the good times and the bad times. Paul wrote, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Evil is repellent, and good is attractive. The bad times push us together, while the good times draw us together.
And that’s how we know that our love is sincere. If the bad times push us apart, we ought to question our love for each other. Obviously, the bad times are opportunities for love to be secondary in our minds, but those are the times when we must cling together. Sometimes, when individuals are experiencing their own bad times—whether due to grief, illness, loneliness, anger, etc.—they are inclined to push others away, but that’s when the rest of us have to take the initiative to cling to them.
I’ll admit that I am often clueless when it comes to recognizing when others need someone to cling to; so I welcome the nudge, every once in a while, that prompts me to step in when a brother or sister needs someone to cling to. But when you find someone who needs that kind of sincere love, don’t pass it off to someone else when you can love them just as well; don’t miss your own opportunities to show that clingy love to someone else.