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Romans 12:9-13

What does it mean to love someone? What do you do in practical terms if you love someone? From this point in the epistle through chapter fourteen, this is the topic Paul wants to address. How do you love others? Then in our next study in verses 14-21, Paul takes a short digression to explain how to love your enemies.  

In our last study addressing verses 4 through 8, Paul encouraged us to find our place of service and to use the gifts that God has given to us. Now he explains how love is the primary motivator of this service to others. Paul wrote, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:9-13).

How do you love the brethren?

1. Love must be sincere. The first principle that Paul addresses is sincerity. If you are to love others you must, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” Paul begins with one of the most important aspects of love, sincerity of heart. The word hypocrisy is a very interesting word, because it literally means to be an actor. In the ancient Greek world, when they spoke about people who were actors, they used this same word translated here, hypocrite. The hypocrite was someone who was a pretender, someone that had a false mask, or someone playing a part. In other words, they were not who they appeared to be. Jesus defined hypocrisy by just pointing to the Pharisees. In Luke 12:1, Jesus warned the disciples when He said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Jesus described hypocrisy like the leaven put in a lump of bread dough. A little leaven, or a little hypocrisy, would ultimately permeate the entire lump of dough, just as a little hypocrisy will ultimately permeate your entire life. The Pharisees were a great visual example for the disciples. They did their religious duties to be seen by men (Matt. 23:5). It was all religious theater. They were play acting when it came to serving God or the people from the heart. Jesus said they washed the outside of the cup, but the inside was full of corruption (Matt. 23:25-26). He explained that they were like whitewashed tombs that appear beautiful on the outside, but within they were full of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27). They had religious action, but it was not sincerely done from the heart. Sincerity is one of the most fundamental aspects of true love. In your dealings with others is sincerity of heart an important issue for you? If not, you are on your way to becoming like the Pharisees.

All of us know what it means to be sincere, and when we are insincere. You know the truth in your own heart and conscience. It is also not too difficult to spot insincerity when people do things out of duty, and not willingly from the heart. You have watched an exchange between two people where one despises the other, yet feigns love to their face, then behind their back denigrates them. They have a big smile on their face, but you know that there is war in their heart. David described this kind of relationship when he described his enemy, The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords” (Ps. 55:21). This pretty well describes an insincere person. Any relationship like this is hypocritical. This person is an actor or a pretender. If a person lives life pretending like this, he or she will never experience the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. They also will never find real companionship with others because their friendship is fake. Sincere love is the basis of deep relationships and where those relationships can also grow.

There is also a balance that must be addressed with hypocrisy. A life of hypocrisy is not failing to love someone along your journey as a Christian. We are all going to fail to love someone somewhere. Why? We are sinners! Hypocrisy is play-acting while professing your love for someone, while at the same time holding them in contempt or despising them in your heart. That is hypocrisy. There is a big difference between failing to love and hypocritical love. Many times, failing to love a person and recognizing that you have failed, is exactly what will keep you from hypocritical behavior.

How do you get sincere love for others? Peter explains how to get this sincerity of love when he said, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). Notice that Peter connects obeying the truth with the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you, and purifying your heart with sincerity of love. This is where sincere love comes from. You first have to recognize that you must obey the truth of God’s command to love others. This recognition is exactly what reveals that you don’t have the love for another. You then cry out to God for the infilling of the Holy Spirit which brings the fruit of the Spirit which is love (Gal. 5:22-23). By acknowledging your need before God, He keeps you from hypocrisy and gives you a pure heart before Him.

Now some of you are thinking right now, But how can I do this? I don’t like this person and I don’t want to like them either. I don't want to have anything to do with them. If this is you, it should be obvious that you have a bad attitude, and you need to ask the Lord to change your heart. Even if the person is mean to you and has hurt you, you still need to have a right heart towards them, no matter what they have done. Your heart attitude is of primary importance before God! If you hate someone, you have sin in your heart! You need to remember that anyone who is mean, harsh, or betrays others is not a happy person. In fact, they will never be happy, because they are not walking in love. In reality, you should feel sorry for them. Don’t hate them; pray for them, because they need a change in their lives. Jesus said to, “Pray for those who spitefully use you (Matt. 5:44). In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul told Timothy, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.” If you want to love and not become someone who hates, then you need a pure heart, a sincere faith, and obedience to your conscience. If you refuse to make this choice, then you will become just like the person you hate. Do you want that? If you don’t, then obey the conviction of your own conscience. Don’t smile and shake their hand, and tell them how pleased you are to see them. You need to forgive and ask God for a pure heart before Him and trust that He will give it to you. Humble yourself and allow the Lord to give you His sincere love. He sincerely loves the person that you despise. Remember that! This fact will bring the change that is needed in your heart, so you too can love without hypocrisy. Sincere faith will always produce sincere love. Begin by praying in faith for this person who has hurt you. Jesus commanded you to pray. As you pray for them, God will begin to soften your heart. If you have not tried to reconcile with this person, that is what you need to do (Matt. 18:15).

2. Love hates what is evil and clings to what is good. The second way Paul defines real love is that to love God or others you must hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Notice that Paul put these two issues together, that most see as antithetical to one another. I’m referring to love and hate. Most Christians don’t understand that if they love, they also need to hate. But hate what you may ask? In Psalm 97:10, David taught, “You who love the Lord, hate evil.” In fact, if you want to determine just how much you actually love the Lord, you should measure just how much you hate evil. This self-examination will reveal to you the extent to which you have been transformed by Jesus, and conformed into His image. Simply listen to your own thoughts and determine what you think about, that no one else knows about. When evil enters your mind, do you immediately turn in revulsion and hatred at what you were just contemplating? Or, do you play with the evil in your mind and savor every thought? The Scripture is clear, if you love the Lord, you will hate what He hates, and you will love what He loves. This is the proof of your sincerity of love for Him.

In addition, if you love what is good you will also speak up for the truth whenever it is necessary. If your heart is captured by the truth, that is if the Way, the Truth and the Life rules inside of you, then you will speak up for Him. If you hate what is evil you will speak against it, which reveals that you are clinging to what is good. The word cling literally means to stick like glue to what is good and what is righteous. I love this word picture! What happens when you glue two things together? Don’t they become one? Your heart becomes one with His heart, with what He loves, and also with what he hates. But this is not something that comes naturally to any of us. I don’t naturally love what is good. I naturally love what is evil because of my sinful nature. But when Christ gives me His nature, and His Spirit rules inside of me, He rules over my natural man, and produces His love within to love what He loves. This is how your heart gets glued together with His, your heart is transformed.

To understand this truth, you must dig a little deeper into the Word to see what God loves, and what He hates. There are many passages in Scripture that address this issue. For example, in Proverbs 6:16-19, God declared seven things that He hates. Solomon wrote, These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” If God hates these things, so should you! What God loves is just the opposite of these things that He hates. He loves a humble heart, a truthful tongue, hands that stand up against those who shed innocent blood, a heart that devises Godly plans, feet that are swift to follow after righteousness, a true and faithful witness, and one who stands up against those who try and sow discord among brethren.

In Micah 6:8, the prophet declared the Word of the Lord saying, “He has shown you, O man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” This is what God loves! He loves justice, because He is a God of justice and righteousness. He loves mercy and that His people should walk before Him with humility. Do you love these things? You should, because He has shown you an abundance of mercy. He has been just and fair with you, by giving you an opportunity to be saved. This should also bring you to a place of great humility.

Jesus also said in Matthew 22:37-39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These two commandments are obviously the two greatest things that God loves and desires. He loves that you would love Him back, and that you would love others as He has loved you. Remember what Jesus said to Peter after His resurrection? He said, “Peter, do you love me more than these” (John 21:15)? This is the issue Jesus is concerned about. Did Peter truly love Him more than anything else? This is also the relationship He wants with you. If Jesus asked you this question today, how would you answer? This is why in Deuteronomy 30:20, Moses charged the people of God saying, “That you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and length of your days.” Note that even here in the Old Testament, you see the command to cling to the Lord, to love Him, and obey His voice. This same message is found from the beginning to the end of Scripture. This is what God wants for you! So, do you love and cling to Him? Do you cling to that which is good? If you do, you will also hate what is evil. May the Lord unite your heart to His!

3. Love means that you will care for one another like family. In verse 10 Paul declared, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” First, notice these two words encouraging you to be, “kindly affectionate” to one another. It is essential in understanding this encouragement that you grasp the Greek meaning of these words. In the Greek language there are many words for love. We have just one word to describe our love for God, love of our spouse, or to love our friend. However, the Greeks used as assortment of words to describe their love for different relationships. They used agape for loving God, or for being loved by God. They used a second word phileo for loving your brother. This is where we get the word Philadelphia for the city of brotherly love. They also used a word that is not found in the Bible, which is eros, to describe sexual love. Another word was storgos which defined family love. Now, in our text the words, “kindly affectionate,” are a combination of the words, phileo and storgos. This word has the meaning of tenderly loving others with a deep affection, and being devoted to one another as you would your own family. This quality of love is what gives the church the closeness of a family. Remember, Jesus said, “‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12:48-50). So, do you see your brothers and sisters in Christ as family? More importantly, do you treat and care for other believers as you would your own family? This is what Paul is seeking to encourage among all believers.

Paul also encouraged this same family love when he wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, he wrote, “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters with all purity.” Therefore, if you must deal with a conflict or charge an older man in the church, you should speak to him as you would your own father. That means you should be respectful and gentle. If you must speak to an older woman for a similar reason, you should speak to her just as you would your own mother. The same thing is true for younger men or women; you must speak respectfully and lovingly to all believers. You simply need to be “kindly affectionate,” because Christians are your spiritual family. This is an extremely important responsibility for all of us as believers! This is what love does! 

4. Love means that you will honor and prefer others before you. Notice Paul also gives the added instruction in verse 10, “In honor giving preference to one another.” Isn’t this the way you treat your family members? Don’t you give them preference when they call and ask for your help? You don’t say to your family, “I’m sorry, but take a ticket and call me next week!” No, usually you get in your car, and you go over to their home, and you help them. Why? Because they are your family. Because you care, you give preference to people in your family over a stranger because of the relationship you have with them. If you don’t give your family preference, then your thinking needs to be corrected by the biblical order given in Scripture. It is important to note that if you read a little further on in 1 Timothy, you will see the warning to believers about caring for their family members. Paul said, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8). In the context, Paul is talking about helping your family financially or materially when there is a need, so that the church is not charged with this responsibility. This means, when you know that your own family is hurting, you need to take action to help. This is what a loving family member does. Therefore, you should give preference to believers over those who are not Christians.

There are two words in this verse that are very important to understand. These two words are honor and preference. The word honor means to value, respect, and esteem highly another person before yourself. The word preference means to honor and esteem another by first stepping forward to love and give. Both of these words are encouraging a person to take the lead in loving, and reject selfishness. But, to step forward first is the opposite of the way we usually think. We usually want others to step forward and love us first, and then we will respond to help them. But Paul is saying, “No, if you truly are walking in the love of God, you will step forward first.” Don’t wait for someone to ask for help; if you see your brother in need, you need to step forward first to help. The Apostle John taught the same thing when he wrote, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18). This action would demonstrate that you value this person in love. Love demands actions, not just words.

Isn’t Jesus the ultimate example of this truth? I want you to think for a moment about how the Lord stepped forward to help you. His loving action demonstrated that He honored and valued you. Has Jesus not honored you and demonstrated His love by sacrificially giving His life for you? His actions prove to you that you mean something to Him, and that you are important. Jesus also taught how much He valued you and me when He said, “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them.  Of how much more value are you than the birds” (Luke 12:24)? Jesus is generally comparing all human beings with an animal. But, think of how much more you are valued by Him as a member of the body of Christ? If God so cares for the ravens, which are of lesser value, how much more will He take care of you?

This same truth is also taught in the Old Testament. Note how God speaks about His people in Exodus 19:5, when He says, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” All the earth is His, but those who love and obey Him are a special treasure to Him! He treasures and values you above all the peoples of the earth! What an awesome thought!

In order to learn to love the way Paul is teaching in this passage, there is one thing that must happen, a death to self. Why? Because you are naturally self-oriented, but true love is unselfish. In 1 Corinthians 13:5 Paul explained that love, “Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” In other words, love is not selfish. But this means that your sinful nature, which is selfish, must be put to death. This is the only way His love will rule inside of you. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). Only by being filled with the Holy Spirit will you see the death of the old you. Ask God to fill you right now and every day, so that the old man inside of you can be controlled. Every conflict that arises between people could simply be solved if both parties would be filled with God’s loving Holy Spirit. You can’t help but get along with others if you lovingly live unselfishly. I challenge you to open your heart to Him and watch Him change you and your relationships with others.

5. Love means that you will be eager to serve others because you are filled with the Spirit. Notice in verse 11, Paul challenged the Roman church by saying, “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Paul now comes back to the truth that he began this chapter with, which is serving the Lord. He didn’t want them to be lagging in their service, which meant to be lazy. Rather, he wanted them to have diligence, which meant to be quick to act and eager to serve. The love of God within each of us is what motivates this kind of behavior. The key to serving God or others in this manner is that you are fervent in spirit. This phrase means to be enthusiastic or excited. This word fervent is also used of a boiling pot of water, or a glowing ember that is aglow and hot. This word picture is essential not to miss. God wants us like a boiling pot of water inside, aglow with the Spirit, excited, and enthusiastic about serving Him and others. But, let me ask you, are you boiling inside right now with the Holy Spirit? Are you aglow or are you cold as ice? Is the Spirit of God burning inside you, motivating you to serve the Lord? How can this happen within your life?

There is only one way you can be aglow with the Spirit. It is the result of your daily, personal, and intimate fellowship with the Father. When you wait upon Him and daily open your heart to Him, and ask Him to rule inside you, power from on high will fill you till you overflow. You can’t work up this kind of life and love within your heart. God must give it to you by His grace alone. If you are thinking to yourself, I don’t have this love and eagerness to serve the Lord, don’t be discouraged. If you are feeling condemned right now, because you are cold or just luke-warm inside, don’t moan and gripe about it; surrender to Him right now. All you need to do is simply ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit to come upon you and awaken your heart. Jesus promised that if you would simply ask Him, He would answer you. Jesus said, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:9-13)! This is one of the most important passages in Scripture, because Jesus is telling His disciples that all they need to do is ask Him for more of the Holy Spirit. Notice that He said, everyone who will ask will receive. He didn’t say, He might give to you. No, He said He will give to you! Your heavenly Father loves you and will be more gracious than your own parents. But, note what He said He will give, the Holy Spirit! All you must do is ask and keep on asking. That last word ask, in verse 13, is in the present tense, which means that He wants you continually asking for more of His Spirit. Wow, what a promise! This is the best news for anyone who wants more of the power of God in their lives. Do you ask every morning and throughout the day to be filled with the Spirit? Remember, you have not because you ask not (James 4:2).

This empowering of the Spirit of God within you is something Jesus didn’t want His disciples to ever forget. During the Last Supper He told them many times that He was going to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to help them. But, also note that the empowering of the Spirit was the last thing Jesus reminded them about just before His ascension into heaven. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem and said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Now when you leave your home, and you have given your spouse several instructions for the day, what do you do just before you go out the door? Don’t you remind them of the most important thing to remember? Of course you do. This was exactly what Jesus was doing with His disciples. Jesus knew that the empowering of the Holy Spirit was the most important need in their lives. It is also the most important thing for your life. If you don’t want to become lazy in your obedience to God, you need the empowering of the Spirit every day. If you want to be eager in your service to Him, you need to be aglow with the Spirit. If you want God’s love to flow through you, then you must be filled with the Spirit. What would be the result for the church today if every believer prayed daily for the infilling of the Spirit? First, every call for volunteers would be met when the need was made known. When you hear of a need, do you ask the Lord, “Do you want me to volunteer?” Most Christians think, Oh, someone else will do that. If you ask God, should I serve here or there, He just may say yes. Second, if all believers were filled with the Spirit like this, all believers would be sharing their faith with others. Third, if all believers were filled with the Spirit like this, the church would be filled with God’s love for one another. The world would see the true example of a people who have been transformed by Jesus. This is why we must all be asking daily to be filled with His Holy Spirit!

6. Love means your heart rejoices in hope in the midst of tribulation. In verse 12, Paul goes on to exhort believers, “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” When you are aglow and filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be filled with a love for God, which then gives you an ability to rejoice and be patient in tribulation. Why? Because you are a man or woman who is filled with His hope, because you are steadfast in prayer. Your personal relationship with God is strong and real, because you are in daily fellowship with Him. Hope is always going to be the fruit of this daily relationship. A person like this will not have their joy stolen from them. Jesus told His disciples this very thing on His last night with the disciples. He told them that tribulation was coming very soon. He promised them, “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:20-22). Notice several things in this instruction of Jesus. He tells them the truth. He didn’t lie to them and tell them they would never go through any struggle. No, He told them that tribulation was coming, and there would be weeping, sorrow, and lamenting when they saw Him crucified. But, just like a woman in childbirth, the anguish she experiences is washed away by the joy of the birth of her child. Then Jesus tells them how they will be able to rejoice in their trials. He says, but I will see you again, and no one will take your joy from you. This is exactly the same reason why you will be able to rejoice in your tribulation. It is because you rejoice in the hope that you will see Him again one day. With this hope, this is what enables you to have patience and to have endurance in your trials, because you remain steadfast in prayer. It is important to note that all the verbs in this verse (rejoicing, patient, and continuing steadfastly) are in the present tense. So, Paul is literally saying, “You will be able to continually rejoice in hope, and continually be patient in tribulation, because you are continually in prayer.”

Now you may be thinking, Is it really possible to react this way in the midst of trials? My answer is yes! I have counseled countless people who are dying of cancer, or who have lost a spouse or child to disease, or who are struggling with their own health problems. I have seen many rejoice in hope, endure the trial they are in the midst of, and focus their attention on prayer. I have also watched others get angry with God, get depressed, and disappear from church, never to be seen of again. What is the difference between these two people? One person has hope that they will see their loved one again. They trust God’s sovereignty that is in total control of their lives, and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Conversely, the other does the exact opposite. Remember, trials are going to come your way in the midst of this fallen world. You live in a fallen body, and so does the rest of the world around you. Therefore, you cannot escape trials and tribulation in this world. The question is, do you have your hope fixed in Him, and trust that one day you will see Him face to face, and then all your trials in this life will be over? Jesus said that the storms of life will come to those who love and obey Him, and they also come to those who disobey Him. The only difference is that the believer will stand, and the unbeliever will fall (Matt. 7:24-27). Which position will you be in when the trials of this life come your way? Are you building your house upon the rock, or the sand?

7. Love means that you seek to help the saints by being hospitable. Paul now ends his exhortation concerning how we should treat other believers in verse 13, when he writes, “Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” The saints in this verse refers to all believers who have been set apart as His family, including all who are in the church. The word saints means, holy ones or set apart ones. Notice here that real love is defined by actions and deeds. It is not the love I profess, but the love I demonstrate that reveals the truth of my profession. Helping other believers when they have a need is the simplest way to show the truth of your love. Paul adds to meeting the needs of the saints by also encouraging hospitality. Now obviously we should be hospitable to non-Christians too, but we must especially be hospitable to those who are of the household of faith. Paul taught, Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).

The word distributing means to work together or share together with others. When many people come together to help another, it makes the burden so much lighter. For example, years ago one of the men in our church had to have surgery, and wouldn’t be able to work for a while. His employees were willing to help out and keep the business going, but they needed their boss’s van to continue working and bringing in income while he was recuperating. Then the transmission went out on the van right after he had his surgery. At this moment, the saints came together, and scores of people in the church took up a collection and got the transmission fixed. This is what Paul was encouraging in this verse. We all shared together to help meet this need.

Hospitality is another practical action that can be taken to demonstrate love. Paul commands us to be given to hospitality. The word given means to pursue, persecute, or strive to be hospitable. The word hospitality means to love the stranger. This is the person who is either not a believer, or not in your group or in your family. The stranger is someone you don’t know, but is in need. In the Old Testament, God gave a command to the Jewish people concerning the stranger. God, referring to Himself and His heart declared that, “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:18-19). God explains that because He cares for the fatherless and widows, and because He loves the stranger, so should you.

The closest application today for how you can show hospitality and love the stranger is to look for the person who comes through the door of your church for the first time, and doesn’t know anyone. This might be an unbeliever, or another Christian. You meet them before church as you are walking into the service. How should you treat them? You should show hospitality by warmly greeting them, or taking them and introducing them to some of your friends, or walking them over to the Sunday School building so they know where to take their children, or possibly going out to lunch with them after church. This is hospitality! However, some believers might shake the person’s hand and get their name, and then two minutes later forget it as they turn to talk with their own friends. This is not hospitality! In fact, this would be rude to act in this manner. Remember, love is not rude (1 Cor 13:5). Love is hospitable.

These exhortations are essential behaviors for someone who wants to walk in love. If you speak of love to others, you must also demonstrate your love by practical actions. This is what it means to love without hypocrisy.