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Do you like to attend plays? In high school, I enjoyed drama. I joined the school play and also volunteered for the community theater in a nearby town. I once played the Peanuts character Charlie Brown in a musical. In another play, I was cast as an old man in a wheel chair with failing health. The play revolved around the secret of who poisoned family members in the past. I remember several of my lines involved whining for the character named Constance to bring me things.
Drama is related to a word in 1 Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (NIV 1984)
The word translated “sincere” is the opposite of the Greek word describing an actor on the stage spouting oratory. That word became “hypocrite.” Jesus used it to describe the Pharisees. Their hypocrisy was the opposite of sincerity.
Another important word in this passage is deeply. Peter urges us to love each other deeply. The same word is used to describe the emotional intensity of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his death. He prayed so intensely he sweat drops of blood.
Our love for others cannot be play acting. It cannot have a whiff of hypocrisy. We must love others from the heart.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.