Our hearts are deceitful. We can get confused with “wants” and “love”. We may want someone and think that it is love. How do we protect ourselves from our own deceitful hearts? Deception means that we are deceived and when we are deceived we are not aware that we are deceived. How do know if someone else genuinely loves us or if they have some other selfish desire?
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5
If someone has these three requirements then it will help their own heart to have the pure motive of pure love for another rather than a selfish desire, that has the pretension of love.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
The person that has a pure heart is one who will see the Lord. When we see the Lord then we see the sin in our hearts. We realize our desperate need for the Lord and for Him to cleanse our hearts. When Isaiah saw the Lord then he saw his uncleanness.
Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
We will want to come to Him for cleansing. The person who has a pure heart will draw near to God.
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22
The next requirement for true love is a good conscience. If we do not have a good conscience then we will have ulterior motives in all that we do. A good conscience is necessary for good behavior in everything. When our conscience is not good then we will have a twisted view of God and a selfish love. We will not be able to love another with God’s unconditional love. If someone “loves” you but they are compromising in another area of their life, then do not trust their “love”.
keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. I Timothy 1:9
If someone does not have a good conscience then it is only a matter of time before they will suffer in their faith.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18
A good conscience leads to honorable behavior in all things, not just in love, but in everything.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, II Timothy 1:5a
What do others think of this person? If the one who loves is a male then what do other males think of him? The same as if the person is a female. Those of the same gender can detect sincerity or insincerity better than the opposite gender.
so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; Philippians 1:10
When someone approves the things that are excellent then that is an indication of a sincere faith.
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22
Finally, our love for all people is to be a sincere love from a pure heart with a good conscience. When we live this way then our lives will be pleasing to God and we will have favor with people.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3,4