Romans 12:9-18 (NKJ) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceable with all men.
I know, long scripture today. I actually was only “supposed” to read the part about rejoicing in hope, being patient and praying – but this entire passage was so specific about how we should act with each other, I just had to include it all.
I’ve been thinking a lot the past day or so about a particular difficult relationship in my life. I’ve done all I can think of to make the situation better, because I love the person deeply. But somehow, I can’t fix it. I don’t think it’s the type of thing that can be patched up overnight, but I just am in a hurry to have it be alright again. This passage really spoke to me about how we should treat those in our lives if we want relationships filled with peace, hope, love, trust and kindness.
I especially love a couple parts of this as it’s written in The Message “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.” “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.” I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time not wanting to get even when I’ve been hurt. For some reason, it’s even more difficult for me to stand by and watch someone I love be wounded. Everything in me screams for justice, for mean people to get what’s coming to them. This passage totally convicted me to just let it go. Love people. Let their needs to be first in the relationship. Regardless of how we’re treated, we should be quick to forgive and live at peace. Not that we should be doormats in life, but that we should make allowances for the faults of others. Realizing that none of us are perfect people, everyone has a different opinion and that’s ok.
My favorite people to hang out with are kind. Considerate of my needs and always there for me, good or bad times. They listen to my stories with rapt attention and encourage me in the troubles of life. Exactly what these verses describe. I want to be that kind of friend, daughter, sister and person. When I practice kindness, humility and peaceful living on a daily basis, those attributes will just naturally flow into my relationships with others. So, my prayer for today is that God would keep this scripture on my mind today. That I would not become caught up in offenses of the past or awkwardness of the present, but would keep my eyes focused on the beautiful friendship that is being developed as I continue to choose gentleness, love and grace.