“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:” 1 Peter 1:22
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”1Timothy 1:5
Unfeigned. What an unusual word. Some might call it archaic. Old. Out of use. Funny sounding. Old-fashioned. I am not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say it, let alone write it – in modern times anyway. But it should not be tossed to the wayside, nor overlooked in the Bible despite how many people like myself might have skimmed over it for years – until God got a hold of me, put His foot on the brakes, and put me in reverse to show me something crucial about this word I had been speeding past.
A number of times, the Bible refers to unfeigned faith and unfeigned love. Unfeigned is no useless adjective to be cast away. It is crucial, for the Lord is making a point. God is not calling us to just any old ordinary love and faith. Shouldn’t this be obvious? Of course, but the fact is that we need to have this pointed out to us. So what’s the big deal about unfeigned, and why that choice of words?
Feigned describes something that is pretend, not genuine, insincere. Unfeigned? True. Real. Genuine. Sincere. Why do we need to be told our love and faith need to be unfeigned? Because tragically, for some of us professing to love and believe in the Lord, and to love others the way we are called to love them, our love and faith are feigned. No matter how much we may try to convince ourselves, and others, that our love and faith are genuine, God sees our hearts and actions. True love and faith manifest in unfeigned actions. Real actions. Not just words. But a sincere walk with the Lord involving denial of self and passionate pursuit of Him and His will. If there are impurities in our love and faith, we need to repent of what is feigned and be unfeigned in our hearts, yes, and in our actions also.