Posted May 06, 2013
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.Never be wise in your own sight.
This is our third week in Romans 12 and Paul continues to exhort the Romans as to how to practically be “living sacrifices”. He gives a few more commands to us as we look to be more Christ-like:
1. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Christians should be a blessing to those around them, not a curse, even (and perhaps especially) to those who persecute them. This is a radical echo of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:43), although Jesus commanded his disciples to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. John Stott said, “There is no better way to express our positive wishes for our enemies’ welfare than to turn them into prayer and into action.” Are you being persecuted? Start to pray for them and find practical ways to bless them!
2. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
While we like to separate these two, joy and pain walk hand in hand in life. Christians should be a people who can both rejoice deeply and weep sympathetically. We follow in the steps of Jesus who knew how to do both well (He was a man of both joy and sorrows)! If we love one another, this by default includes entering into one another’s joys and pains. Do not stifle the joys of others, and do not shame those who are going through a time of pain and hardship! Quaker George Fox said, “I prayed to God that He would baptize my heart into all conditions so I might be able to enter the needs and conditions of all.”
3. Live in harmony with one another.
Christians should be a “like-minded” people, under Christ’s headship, functioning on the same team for the same purposes. While our roles may be different, we should always recognize this powerful truth as we pull each other along and push in the same direction.
4. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your sight.
This seems to be a continuation of the prior command: the body of Christ does not have an “elite team”, but rather is a body of redeemed sinners, saved by grace through faith! May there never be a spiritual caste system set up in the church... None should be characterized by pride, but rather great humility because what Christ has done for us.
This week’s song was written by Ryan & Lisa Walker (check out Ryan’s band Emelo: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/emelo/id269514960), produced by Chris Clark, and artwork created by Kayla Sanders (http://www.kayla-sanders.com/).