Love must be without hypocrisy. - Romans 12:9a (HCSB)
SLAM! Went the bedroom door. Wham! Went Cindy's back pack against the wall. Plop! went Cindy Miller on her bed. And then to Mindy's surprise, Cindy started bawling her head off. Mindy couldn't remember the last time she had seen her sister act like that for normally it was herself that slammed doors and threw things around.
“What happened to the bright cheerful girl that crawled out of bed this morning?” Mindy asked, a bit puzzled by her sisters actions. “SHUT UP and leave me a lone.” Cindy replied, “I don't want to talk about it.” and then she pulled a blanket over her head. “No problem.” Mindy said shrugging her shoulders, “I don't have time to talk now any ways.”
After a few minutes Cindy's bawling turned into a quiet sobbing and Mindy heard her call out from under her blanket “I hate Valentines.” “What?” Mindy asked, “The other day you told me you couldn't get enough of Valentines day and red, pink and white valentine cards from , who was it, someone named Dave.” When Cindy heard her sister mention the name Dave, she started bawling out loud again, this time even louder than before.
“Um...” Mindy said, “Did I say something wrong?” “That Dave is nothing but a two timing, cheating, rotten scoundrel.” Cindy answered back, “He’s worse than Harold.” After thinking about it for a few minutes, Mindy asked, “Isn't Dave that cute blond haired boy in science class?” “Don't mention his name.” Cindy snapped back in response
“Why?” Mindy asked, “He's a great kid. I think I even got a red, pink and white valentine card from him. It was cute, It said 'I Love You' on it and asked 'Would you be mine forever?' “You got one too?” Cindy snapped, “What he do, give one to every girl in school?” “Huh,” Mindy said a little confused, “Who else got one?”
“Molly and Penny for certain.” Cindy whined, “I thought Dave really meant what he said on that card, I thought he really loved me.” “Is that what this tantrum is all about?” Mindy laughed, “You know that no-one really means what they put on those cards.” “But” Cindy protested, to which Mindy added, “You didn't mean what you put on your cards, did you?”
“No.” Cindy sheepishly replied. “Can I see the card?” Mindy asked next. Crawling out from under her blanket, Cindy found the card and threw it at her sister. After looking the card over, Mindy broke out in uncontrollable laughter. “This card isn't from Dave, it's from Dale, that smelly kid in history class.”
“What?” Cindy shouted, jumping up and snatching the card out of her sister's hand. After looking it over carefully, she ripped it into shreds crawled back under her blanket. “How embarrassing.” she mumbled and started quietly sobbing.
What would you rather have, a real $100 bill or a monopoly $100 bill? I think most people would prefer the real bill over the play one. For the most part, I think we want things to be real. Unfortunately, things are not always real, like the love behind Cindy's Valentine Card.
Throughout out the early part of the Old Testament, God sets down many rules.
- In Exodus 23:14 He says Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. (ESV)
- In Exodus 30:1-7 He says You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. … And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it,(ESV)
- In Leviticus 1:14-17 He says If his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons. And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. Its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. He shall remove its crop with its contents and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. He shall tear it open by its wings, but shall not sever it completely. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. (ESV)
- In Leviticus 22:29-31He says And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the LORD. "So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the LORD. (ESV)
God wants all these things from Israel yet Isaiah says Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. "When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Isaiah 1:10-15 (ESV)
Did you see that? There was no delight in their sacrifices, their offering were vain, their incense was an abomination, and their feasts were hated Why Because they were no longer real, their hearts were far from God, they were just going through the motions. (Isaiah 29:13)
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us that without love we're meaningless. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (ESV) but the love that we are to have is to be real
- 1 Peter 1:22 - Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, (ESV)
- Romans 12:9 - Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. (HCSB)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Are you loving others as you should?
- Is your love for real or pretend?