Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 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.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)
Earlier today, I was thinking about the statement ‘practice love’. Paul gave us some great advice on how to do that. But as I read it, I kept saying “ouch”.
I can handle hate what is evil, cling to what is good. I can try to be devoted, honoring, hopeful, patient, faithful, hospitable. And truthfully, lack of zeal is not really an issue with me.
But then it gets a bit more difficult. I have to bless those that persecute me. I don’t want to bless them. I want to slap them in the face. Well, not all of them. But someone really did me wrong one time and all I could think of was flying to her home, knocking on her front door and slapping her in the face. I didn’t do that. But I surely did not want to bless her.
I need to be happy with people that are happy and sad when people are sad. I need to get along with others … whether I want to or not.
I need to remember that I am not better than anyone – period.
When I receive bad, I need to return good. I don’t like this one at all.
I need to watch my actions, because others are watching me.
I need to live in peace with everyone – regardless.
I’ve got some work to do.