Day 13: Romans 12
A few years ago, I won two tickets to attend the Men’s Final at Wimbledon Tennis Championships. In the weeks prior to the event, I had old friends and long lost family members contacting me and for a moment I thought, isn’t that nice, until
I realised they were all fishing for my extra ticket! It made me laugh, but I realised it is so important to love people without an agenda, to love like Jesus does.
Today I am focussing on the second half of Romans 12, which covers the importance of sincere and genuine love for others.
Verse 9 in The Message translation reads, “Love from the centre of who you are, don’t fake it… be good friends who love deeply.” The NLT reads, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.”
The challenge this verse presents, is to step away from superficial level relationships, let go of our insecurities and past hurts and love people as Jesus loves them, with a genuine heart! Jesus demonstrated this in Matthew 9:36, “When he saw the crowds, his heart broke, So confused and aimless, like a sheep without a shepherd.”
Verse 10 continues with “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring each other.” (NLT) Honouring each other can be counter-cultural, our society often looks for faults and mistakes. We as followers of Christ should choose to respect, celebrate, pray for and champion each other rather than tearing each other down.
Let’s be a community of believers that make loving people our constant heartbeat and motivation. Genuine love and care for others without agenda or reward is the mark of a true believer.
Verse 14 raises the stakes even higher, “bless those who persecute you”. This includes people you have fallen out with, had disagreements with or have even hurt you badly. It is a constant challenge to rise above and keep our hearts right day by day. According to verse 20, doing a good deed like making a meal or being a blessing is far better than just trying to get even. Verse 21“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The Apostle Paul in verse 16, also alludes to staying humble and enjoying the company of ordinary people. It’s effortless to connect with familiar friends and family, but I think the writer is saying, make sure you include the people on the fringe.
It always takes more effort to connect with the ‘ordinary’ person, someone you don’t know. However, you might be surprised and find some diamonds in the rough.
In this season we are in, we all have a great opportunity to re-evaluate our daily values. Let’s be the people who step out the shadows, make a difference and show sincere and genuine love for the people in our world.
I’ll finish with the words of Jesus, “Your love for one another will prove to the World that you are my disciples” John 13:35 (NLT)