9 Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11 Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. 12 When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes. 14 Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not call down curses on them. 15 Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 16 Agree with each other. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others. 17 Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. 18 If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. 19 My friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, “I am the One who judges people. I will pay them back,” (Deuteronomy 32:35) says the Lord. 20 Do just the opposite. Scripture says, “If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.
Sometimes the Bible contains complex messages that are difficult to understand. Sometimes the Bible teaches on matters of theology that challenge us to think deeply about who we are and about the very nature of God himself.
Romans12 is not complex or highly cognitive though. It is a simple and direct instruction on how to live out true, deep love.
The challenge is not in being able to understand this page but in being able to actually live it out! The standard for what it means to really live a life of love is incredibly high!
Lord, help me to not only strive to understand the challenging concepts in your word, but also to love in a way that challenges and changes me.
Written by Justin Ware