Don’t pretend to love others.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)
Love needs to be our guiding force as Christians.
Love not only our friends and family but also love our enemies. Don’t just pretend either. Really love them. But first know that we are not able to love like this in our own flesh. It is only with God’s love poured into our hearts that we are able to love without limit. See the words in the verse below – God fills our hearts with His love. This is a wonderful Word to know and cling to when we are finding it hard to love.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Love each other affectionately.
Jesus told us this as well. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus said it is to love one another in the same way He loves us (see John 15:12). Paul explains that we are to be devoted to one another in love. He goes on to say that we need to take delight in honoring each other. Let’s look at the definition of “devoted” and “delight” to get another view of what Paul is saying:
Devoted – very loving or loyal. Be very loving and loyal to one another in love.
Delight – great pleasure. Take great pleasure in honoring each other.
Paul mentions quite a few things in these verses in Romans 12 that will bring about a transformed life. We are to:
- Love sincerely
- Hate evil
- Cling to good
- Be devoted to one another
- Honor one another
- Not be lazy
- Work hard
- Serve the Lord enthusiastically
- Rejoice in confident hope
- Be patient in trouble
- Keep praying
- Be ready to help those in need
- Be eager to practice hospitality
- Bless those who persecute you
- Don’t curse those who persecute you
- Pray that God blesses those who persecute you
- Be happy with those who are happy
- Weep with those who weep
- Live in harmony
- Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of all people
- Don’t think you know it all
- Never pay back evil with evil
- Do all you can to live in peace with everyone
- Never take revenge
- Leave the righteous anger to God
- Feed your enemies
- Don’t let evil conquer you
- Conquer evil by doing good
If we can successfully keep our focus on God, He will accomplish all these things through us.
When we show an interest in others instead of in ourselves, we practice hospitality. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead, we will see others in need around us. Ask Him for discernment to see the need. He is surrounding us right now with need but it is up to us to have the discernment to see it and the boldness to act. We should ask ourselves this one question in every situation:
What is the best thing I can do right now to show God’s love?
When we allow this question to give us the response for each situation, we will see the fruits increase in our lives. God is so good. He will always bless us when we are blessing others. It is impossible for Him not to bless us. So as we turn our attention away from ourselves to those around us, He will take care of us. It’s His way and it’s the only way.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,