Monday, September 5, 2011

I love the smell of gen-u-ine Love!

Gotta love the smell of genuine leather. It's not like anything else....distinct.  To me, most of the time it's very refreshing for some reason.  Regardless how great it is and refreshing it smells, I usually don't like to buy genuine leather things. Mostly I don't buy it because leather items are typically pricey and usually need to be treated with care and special products to keep their luster. haha! Luster?? I don't know what to call that finish they all have. And I usually don't want to take the time to maintain that luster or however you want to describe finished leather.  Anyway, the genuine leather things I have owned seem special to me. When I bought them I knew that they would hold out through all the wear and tear of life.  I knew I could depend on them to hold together. 

Remember the loafer frenzy of the late '80s and early '90s?  Man, I always had to have the leather loafers with the little bit of fringe on the top and some type of tassel.  Looking back they were UGLY, but those days, leather loafers were the coolest casual dress shoes youth could wear.  Well, what I'm trying to say is that the good loafers, the sturdy ones, were genuine leather shoes.  They lasted the longest and seemed to take rainy days, muddy walks home from school and Oklahoma red dirt quite well.  No problems. Might not stay luster-y, but they sure would hold together. haha!

When I read the verse in Romans 12:9 "love must be genuine", I thought of the "genuine leather" phrase stamped on 100% leather things.  There's alot to that description and so should the description of us showing genuine love to our fellow man.  The way I look at it, genuine love shows itself to be trustworthy, strong, hopeful, honest, dependable, bold, peaceful, self confident/not self righteous, desperately needed, praiseworthy and very rare. Really, genuine love, is so desperately needed in our world.  People rarely see it because most of the time we don't let our love for one another be genuine.

The way I see it, this genuine love the Apostle Paul talks about is unattainable without the One who IS love.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the One who gives us the capacity to love like that.....genuinely....without the hopes of a return for the act of charity. I mean, Christ gave us genuine love by dying on a cross for us....taking the wages of our sin (which is death according to God's Word) and giving us new life instead when we believe in Him. No strings attached kind of love is so rare, so needed, so amazingly life altering when it comes into our lives. To think we are capable to giving that kind of love to others is awesome. If only we could daily surrender our selfish ways to Christ and let Him love through us.

So, I need to ask myself tonight, what does that look like in my life....loving genuinely?  Another translation of this verse says it like this, "Love must be sincere."  My attempt at breaking sincerity down further without Webster's help: sincere= from the heart, thought about before acted upon, no strings attached, the recipient being top priority in the giving of the gift of charity/love.  
So much of the love I give to others has strings even though I don't realize it most of the time, but that's not what I hope to be like.  As a Christian, there is an inner drive in me to be like the One who rescued me from darkness,.....from my lost self.  And to be like Him is to love genuinely. So, I know I want that way of living. I just need to surrender to Christ and let him love through me. That way others might someday say (subconsciously, of course), "Man, I just love the sweet smell of gen-u-ine love."