Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Romans 12:9-13

Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. 11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.

The Original Intent

1) What does it look like to love without hypocrisy? (verse 9)

When Paul tells Christians to “Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good” (verse 9), he is exhorting them to let their love be true and genuine. According to, “in classical Greek drama, the “hypokrites” was the play actor who projected an image but hid his true identity behind a mask.”

To love without hypocrisy is to love in truth with authenticity, with no pretense or artifice. Ann Voskamp suggests, “Those in the church often wear masks like we have it all together, and in wearing masks what really gets masked is Christ. When Christ gets masked, there is no communion and we experience life of starvation, emaciation. We look like hypocrites because we are.”

Genuine love does not pretend to be something it is not to look better or be impressive. This inauthentic, selfish love leads to hurt and disappointment. Hypocrisy creates a false security and an expectation in the recipient only ends in sorrow. John Piper asserts, “The command to love without hypocrisy is really a command to know Christ and love Christ and find your satisfaction in Christ so that you do not crave the praise of men anymore.”

Authentic love mirrors God back to those we love. More than just words, authentic love, follows through on commitments and takes action. (1 John 3:18) Paul teaches us to pour out this genuine love, which is unselfish and puts others first. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Christians can love one another without hypocrisy by keeping their word and honoring their promises. (1 John 2:5) When Christians demonstrate love in this way, they build trust (1 Corinthians 13:6) and lead others to follow the One who is love. (1 John 4:16)

The Everyday Application

1) What does it look like to love without hypocrisy? (verse 9)

One of the joys of working with young children is witnessing their unfiltered and startlingly forthright emotional expressions. They don’t try to hide their excitement like older kids. They squeal with delight when a soap bubble lands on their finger, or they shriek in despair when their balloon floats out of reach.

They also don’t sugar coat the truth like adults. Little kids call it like they see it. Their frankness can be brash, “Why did you cut your hair to look like that, Miss Rachel?!?”. But when they show you love, you know it’s genuine. They love without hypocrisy as Christ urges His Bride, the Church, to live out because this is how He loves us.

Christ-followers cannot make disciples unless they follow Christ in how He loves. (John 13:34) This means they can’t be fake or misleading, even when the truth is difficult. Like Christ, His followers are to embrace genuine love and reflect the Truth of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18) John Piper notes, “Hypocrisy is all about falsehood, concealment, deceit, cloaking, misleading, hiding. Hypocrisy is the opposite of loving the truth. So it is the opposite of love.”

To love without hypocrisy, we must hate lies and deception. (2 Thessalonians 2:10) We may need to confront uncomfortable issues we would rather gloss over or ignore. We might want to pretend like we don’t have any problems, but loving others in truth requires transparency about the heart-changing work Jesus is doing in our own lives. (Philippians 1:6)

When we love without pretense, choosing to love without hypocrisy, we are imitating Christ’s love for us!

The Original Intent

2) How can Christians take the lead in honoring one another? (verse 10)

Romans 12:10 admonishes Christians to “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.” This particular Greek word for honor only appears this single time in the Scriptures and means “to go before as a guide. Honor is the honor due from each to all . . . leading the way in showing the honor that is due.” (Precept Austin)

Not only are we to love deeply, but we are to go beyond this by taking the initiative to outdo each other in showing love and honor due to all who are adopted children of God. We accomplish this when we seek out good deeds to perform for others. (Galatians 6:10) We honor our brothers and sisters in Christ when we celebrate their victories, support their endeavors, and acknowledge their attributes and contributions. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

This humble honoring of one another is the opposite of the culture’s mindset, which seeks accolades for ourselves. Paul encourages us to prioritize the needs of others above our own because it does not come naturally. (Philippians 2:3-4) In a “me-first” world, having an “others-first” attitude stands out. In fact, it’s this love for one another that tells the world we are Christ-followers. (John 13:35)

It requires practice in leaning into the Spirit’s work in us, but we can aim to outdo one another in showing honor to our brothers and sisters in Christ through our kind words and selfless deeds through the power of the Holy Spirit as we submit to His rule and reign!

The Everyday Application

2) How can Christians take the lead in honoring one another? (verse 10)

There are heartwarming stories circulating the internet about special students joining school sports teams as the team manager so they can experience team camaraderie even though they may not have the athletic skills needed to play. The whole team works together on one special night of the year, maybe homecoming or senior night or the last game of the season, to help that special student take part in a portion of the game. They coordinate events so the student can make a basket, score a goal, or run the ball. They go to great lengths, even coordinating with the opponent, so the special student gets to experience glory on the playing field at least once in the season.

These players and coaches go above and beyond to honor kids who contribute support and encouragement to the team off the field. I think of these stirring anecdotes of purposeful kindness when I hear Paul’s admonition to the church to Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.” (Romans 12:10)

Paul wants Christians to set each other up for success in much the same way these teams seek out opportunities to give victory to their team members living with special needs. They go out of their way to demonstrate care, value, and celebration. (Hebrews 10:24) This may involve giving up the limelight ourselves to shine the focus on our brothers and sisters. It will likely include putting the needs and concerns of others ahead of our own. (1 Peter 4:8-10)

It means being intentional, planning ahead, and sacrificing as needed to assure that others feel honored and loved, even at our own expense. Lord, show us what steps we can take today to honor our brothers and sisters in the faith so we can build team unity!

The Original Intent

3) How can we be patient in affliction? (verse 12)

The Apostle Paul instructs his readers to “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) Paul wants the Church to realize they will need hope, patience, and prayer to live as Christ-followers. Being patient can be difficult enough in good circumstances, but Paul wants Christians to be patient even when times are hard.

How can we remain patient when everything around us is going wrong? Rob Morgan asserts, “Rejoicing in hope enables us to be patient in affliction. Patience is hope in different clothing. It’s the ability to wait calmly as the Lord works everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” We can be patient because we confidently know God is in control of all things (Deuteronomy 31:8) and He is working everything out for our ultimate good and His glory. (Romans 8:28-29)

We can be patient no matter what is going on around us because we know God is always good (Psalm 34:8) and we can trust His Word and His Ways (Psalm 33:4).

Instead of panicking and letting our worry turn into ranting and wailing, we can recall God’s love and faithfulness and wait patiently for the Lord to perform His will in our lives. Liz Curtis Hjggs suggests, “We can be patient in affliction by not complaining and by giving thanks for the good things we do have. We don’t grumble or murmur but look for ways to honor God in our circumstances.”

When we focus on God’s ability to provide the strength we need, we recognize the grace He gives to help us patiently endure and overcome the afflictions that arise in this world. (John 16:33)

The Everyday Application

3) How can we be patient in affliction? (verse 12)

When my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I spent the entire 9 months that I would have been pregnant to grieve my loss, learn more about pregnancy, and get physically healthier. During that time God healed my heart (Psalm 147:3) through dreams, journaling, worship, His Word, and the hugs and wisdom of other miscarriage sufferers.

It was an uncomfortable process, but it was one I needed to journey through patiently as the Lord healed my heart and prepared me to experience a new pregnancy. While everyone’s healing journey looks different, for me, this time of waiting was an example of what Paul exhorted his readers to do in Romans 12:12; be “patient in affliction.” Instead of rushing through the process, choosing patience allowed me to discover impactful lessons God had for me in that difficult time.

My biggest take away was that God was present with me in the pain, holding me and sustaining me. (Isaiah 40:11) Ann Voskamp notes, “We may not understand the purpose or the point in our suffering, but whatever it is, it must be so important, and so profound, that Jesus Himself is willing to go through that suffering with us.”

Being patient in the turmoil helped me learn that even if I never understood the “why” of my painful circumstances, I understood that God was always with me and that I could always depend on Him. (Philippians 4:19)

Hurrying through the pain to get to the promise would have caused me to miss His revelation, and it is this deeper knowing of Him that demonstrated that nothing can separate me from God’s love and care. (Romans 8:35-39) He has faithfully sustained me in every crisis large and small since then.

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4 months ago

Amen, amen, and amen! Thank you Rachel for your insight and words of encouragement. What a needed and timely study! Praise God for Christian sisters! Thank you for sharing!🥰

Last edited 4 months ago by Anonymous
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