It is simply very difficult to be real. Since we spend or lives mostly dealing with people in small increments of time, we can usually muster up the energy to be pleasant and accommodating for that brief period. The challenge in the passage is to make that pleasant front—the real you. In order to make that a reality, Paul lays out some specific steps. Be holy, be devoted and be humble.
The first thing we must do to be sincere is to live with an eternal perspective. Simply put, we live a holy life—we love the things that honor God and hate the things that dishonor him. We are different. We do not hate people—but we do not look with a longing eye at behaviors that dishonor God.
The second thing is to be devoted to others. As much as we are able we meet people where they are and really focus on being a friend. That means when they are doing great, we set aside envy and celebrate their success—sincerely. When they are defeated, we support and encourage them without judgement. When sick we comfort and heal. When they are in need of an ear we listen and do not preach. Meeting folks where they are and being the friend they need is a great part of being real.
Finally, we are humble. We look at the world with our own needs and desires kept separate. Humility is not thinking of yourself as a lesser person, it is focusing upon others and allowing God to be in charge of meeting your needs. You still bring your needs to the father and ask for the desires of your heart—BUT, as it relates to others, you simply set your needs aside and focus on them and on God. Living a sincere life is tough. It stretches you beyond human endurance. But as you train to be sincere—you find your life is simpler and more rewarding—and you don’t have to muster up the energy to be pleasant—God does that for you!
God Bless You
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited