I have been studying “Romans” in my personal bible study for the last couple of weeks, and I saw something the other day that really hit me. I have read this chapter…I don’ t know how many times and I have never paid attention to what God’s idea of love really is. Sure, I know that he wants us to “Love others more than we love ourselves”, but Romans 12:9-21 really goes in depth with how we should love and treat one another as Christians. This message that was written by Paul (but God inspired), is profound. How can I say that God inspired this? Well, anything that hurts the “flesh” this much, could not come from “man”. Romans 12:9-21 (Bible gateway, Message Bible)
9-10Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 11-13Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. 14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. 17-19Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 20-21Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Wow! This scripture hit me like a ton of bricks. All of the time I thought that I was truly showing love to my fellow man, I just discovered that I have a long way to go. There are so many times when I have been wronged, and all that I can think of is how I can separate myself from that individual. Well, “Romans” says to “get along with EVERYONE”, not just the easy to love, but EVERYONE. It also never tells us to flee from our enemies, but instead love them and do all that we can for them.
If you really do what this scripture says, you will be too busy to be angry or work on your next plan for getting “even”. Make this your New Year’s Resolution (if you need improvement as I do)…love as Romans 12 instructs us to. Let it begin with verse 17 “….see beauty in everyone”. Now if that isn’t a challenge then I don’t know what is.