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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Anne Robertson

Friday, February 18

Let love be genuine.
—Romans 12:9

Those in positions of power or influence often come to discover that expressions of devotion are not always sincere. There are times that we are “courted” either literally or figuratively because someone wants something from us. It happens at all levels of power, even down to family systems where one sibling might do favors for another to gain more status or better standing in the family.

Here, Paul is encouraging Christians to rise above that in our relationships. Let our loving words and actions be genuine rather than mere flattery or brown-nosing. That’s important because learning to love in our human relationships helps us better to love God.

Face it. God is the ultimate power, and I find that there are times when my prayer life approaches brown-nosing with God. I put the praise and thanksgiving tag at the beginning and end of my prayers in the hopes that God will be buttered up enough to grant the favors I’m asking in the middle.

But genuine love looks different. It looks, in fact, like Jesus.

Jesus had a genuine love. He was derided by the powerful for spending time with the under-classes…the tax collectors and sinners. He healed outcasts as well as those in the “in” crowd. He gave his time and energy to those that others took pains to avoid, and no one can accuse him of trying to flatter the powerful scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus is both our standard and our hope. He holds out the bar of loving people for who they are and for their potential in God. That’s a high mark to reach, but that sort of genuine love is our standard. It is also our hope. We don’t have to achieve a particular level of fame or fortune, power or influence to be of importance to God. The least of us is, in fact, the same as the greatest in God’s eyes.


Powerful God, give us your love that looks not on status, but on the heart. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.