“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Romans 12:9 ESV)
The admonishment/exhortation continues from there, but just a look at this portion: Does this describe you? We may start out strong with honest love, but do we truly abhor evil? It’s all too common to have secret indulgences. Maybe I’ll laugh at dirty jokes; I didn’t tell it, but I find it whimsical. Perhaps I’ll enjoy that sin vicariously through others; it’s not me doing the wrong, I’m only observing it!
Ephesians tells us the “wrath of God” will come on the disobedient (5:6). How pitiful. Sin isn’t enviable- it’s pitiful. God is going to destroy those who are given to such a lifestyle. Should we laugh at them? Should we wish we could partake in their sin? The Ephesian writer continues in 5:11-12 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of the darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret”. Expose? Yes! See the difference in activities of darkness and activities of light. And then genuinely love the light. It’s shameful to speak of those activities in secret- but would we laugh?
The flip side of that reasoning is that if we find clandestine dalliances with sin in our lives we must question if our love for the Lord is genuine. Sin is separation from the God (Isaiah 59:2), how is that cute or attractive? For our love for the Truth to be genuine we must abhor evil and hold fast to good.
Now, don’t go picking fights because the bulletin said to abhor evil. In Revelation 2, Jesus tells the Ephesians that He knows they’re patiently enduring evil even while they point out apostasy. What are we to do? Hold fast to what is good, and do not grow weary. Genuinely love what is good.