Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good, 12:9
Evil resurfaces in verses 17 – 21. Note the context of the word in verse 9; let love be without hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is evil. As much as I want to justify hypocrisy as having social or religious utility it is evil, and as such I am to abhor it. But do I abhor it? The truth is that I rationalize it. I am to cling to what is good, in this context what is good is seen in verse 10, Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, or as an alternate rendering, outdo one another in showing honor.
The evil of hypocrisy is the antithesis of brotherly love; it is opposed to preferring others and it is dedicated to preserving the “self-centered self”. I wonder if we shall ever escape the invisible prison of hypocrisy?
I want to transition into the final movement of this chapter in Part 10, so let me close this by asking us to reflect on the incarnational organic Body of Christ as seen in verses 3 – 13. We ought to be hearing messages about “us” and not about “me”; we ought to be reading books about “us” and not about “me”. Our heart’s desire should be focused on one another as opposed to ourselves – this is how presenting our bodies as living sacrifices plays out in life, this is how our minds are renewed – they experience a Copernican revolution from “me” to “you”; from the “I” to the one another. After all, it is the fellowship of the Trinity to which we are called – and there is no selfishness to be found in that fellowship, and to be certain there is no hypocrisy.