“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” (Romans 12:9)
We can wear doctrine in a minute. But wearing Christ doesn’t come as easily as some think it does. Peace must be pursued. Love must be fought for. Keeping our heart requires “all diligence.” (Prov. 4:23) If we would “learn to do well” we must first “cease to do evil.” (Isa. 1:16,17) Getting a real grip on what is good will require us to have a real hatred for what is evil.
Our first reactions are seldom righteous ones. If we would excel in the virtues of love and mercy we will first have to put off the vices of anger and bitterness. It is so easy to say, “I’m okay,” when we’re not. Or, to say, “Love ya,” when we don’t. We may fool ourselves and others, but God knows what is going on under the surface. He knows how much genuine love and mercy He has wrought in our heart and how much is fake.
If we don’t wish to be hypocrites we will have to get real with our emotions. We will have to acknowledge when we’re struggling. We will have to confess our sin and our falling short of the glory of God. It is wonderful to claim that you are a saint and no longer a sinner, but if you are still harboring sin, you are a hypocrite.
Let’s face it: we cannot do this thing called Christianity without Christ. He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. We have been made partakers of the divine nature. But with all diligence we are to add to our faith, virtue. Not stopping there we are to add knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. These things are to be in us and are to abound. If they are not, we are blind … blind to the work of the cross, and blind to our own wretched condition that requires His gracious help. (2 Peter 1) We are a Laodicean church and Christ is on the outside looking in. Apart from the real work of the Spirit of Christ in our hearts, we are all faking it.