This week’s blog? A bit unusual for me. A simple call. Or call it a simple encouragement. It’s inspired by Romans 12: 9-21.
Rom. 12:9-13 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Rom. 12:14-21 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” [You’ll surprise them, for sure!] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing, if you’re doing it.
And if you’re not quite, or not yet, or have before, but have been too tired, or too distracted, or too overwhelmed with the worries of the day to do it (much like I am often) . . . I encourage you still . . .
And I encourage you to have courage . . .
. . . to give to the point where it hurts . . . in anticipation of joy;
. . . to pray to the point where it interferes . . . in anticipation of peace;
. . . to study and learn to the point where what you thought you knew about the world gets stretched, set upside down (or put rightside up) . . . in anticipation of new insight;
. . . to listen to the point where you can tell someone else’s story, even someone who’s lived something different than you’ve ever imagined . . . in anticipation of Christ-filled friendship;
. . . to not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all . . . in anticipation of blessing;
. . . to, if it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all, . . . in anticipation of finding the true purpose of your life;
. . . if your enemies are hungry, to feed them; if they are thirsty, to give them something to drink . . . in anticipation of surprising them with God’s grace;
. . . to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.