Never be wise in your own sight
Being wise in our own sight grows arrogance in our hearts. True wisdom accepts reproof and direction. (Proverbs 9:9) Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning Being wise in your own sight will not only slow your ability to grow closer to the infinitely wise God, it’s outward manifestation will draw people away from us preventing us from being able to speak God’s truth into their lives. People who profess a quality about themselves prevent the true admiration and connection found in humility. This goes for the admiration and connection of people in need to us as well as our admiration and connection to God. The haughty nature of self-professed wisdom breaks the flow of God’s spirit through a believer as a vessel. We reflect the light of God. If we allow ourselves to get tarnished in arrogance, the light doesn’t brighten the world the way it is intended to through His faithful.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly/ so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all
The absence of harmony and the presence of arrogance create an uneven terrain with which we identify with the people around us. Not only are we prevented from growing people but we are prevented from personal growth as well. The ‘lowly’ have a point of view that has great value. The lowly of spirit draw us closer to God in their desperation and need. The lowly of wealth rely on the provision of God in a much deeper manner than the more successful. The lowly in years exude a child-like faith that we are all called to and can learn from. The ability for all of God’s children to find harmony can grow in the power of their diversity. The mingling of views and the intertwining of spiritual gifts draw us closer to the infinite God in understanding and praise for the depth we can never truly comprehend. Live peaceably as much as that depends on you. Don’t let your anger or pride the determining factor in the harmony of your life. Leave that to the Lord and watch the amazing people He brings into your life so that together we can mature in spirit and see Him better.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep
When we are invited into someone’s life we must understand what that means. We are trusted to receive their inner most feelings. We are also chosen by God to be there for the opportunity to share His word to someone as their emotion blocks out logic and truth. We need to be in that moment with them in sympathetic submission to their struggle or praise. Sympathy creates patience, closeness, and connection. Allow the spirit to overflow from you. Reflect God’s light into a dark moment or allow your light to combine with their praise and focus them toward the only One worthy of their delight. The Lord puts people in our lives to mold us and for us to mold them as well. Don’t walk past the opportunities God as groomed you for, through your personal struggles. Let the testimony God has blessed you with fill the heart of those you have the amazing opportunity to walk with. Focus on the love of God and your ability to show it regardless of circumstance. The love in the rejoicings of life and we love harder when the darkness begins to creep in. Let God’s strength support you and His word guide you. The God’s light on the roller coaster of life as He stabilizes His chosen for His purpose.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them/ Repay no one evil for evil/ never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God/ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
It’s in the depraved state of selfishness that people have to make situations even or get vengeance. Some people are evil and some good people have moments where their human nature takes over and evil is the byproduct. Some believers will even act poorly causing frustration to others around them. Nobody is immune. It’s in moments of persecution and in the sight of evil that we can truly show God’s glory to the world. Repaying evil only pays into a cycle of darkness that will have no end unless God’s light is allowed in. Not allowing us to see and act on the good of our God will eventually make it difficult to find good. We cannot allow ourselves to be lost in anger and evil where God’s power is masked in our humanity. We must leave vengeance in the hands of God who will bring about change when the hearts involved are ready to receive the needed council. God’s timing is perfect just like His wisdom and vengeance. We need to give to God what belongs to Him and assume our duties as image bearers and reflections of His light. We are called to love. In love we bless, we love, we repay with good, we overcome!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer
Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. [Holman Bible Dictionary] Based on biblical hope, we must rely on God through trust in His plan. We can rejoice in hope because we know that God will do for us what is best and walk with us in tribulation. God’s timing is perfect. When things get tough times slows to a stop. God uses that time to draw you closer to Him as He moves things into place to bring about His will. Be patient as He mold both you and the situation to glorify Him. Our rejoicing and patience is made complete in prayer. Our favorable outcome is in God’s guidance and not our own. We must rely on prayer to let God fill us with His peace and communicate His truth. Reaching out in prayer makes rejoicing and patience possible as God provides all that we need to sustain ourselves in any storm.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit
We are asked not to be lazy in our devotion to God’s kingdom. We should be devoted to a life lead by the Holy Spirit. It’s human nature to get caught up in the things of this world, the things we can see and feel with no effort. Focusing on our devotion to, and the way of the spirit, requires not only faith but real effort. We have to spend time in prayer in order to hear the voice of God as He whispers into our heart. We must spend time in God’s word to increase our knowledge and discernment of God’s will. We must not fall prey to the things of this world. We must realize that we are citizens of a perfect kingdom sojourning on earth as children of God. Our eyes must be continually on the Father. Don’t put off any moment to be with the Lord. He wants your heart, all of it, all of the time.
1) Let Love be Genuine (From Romans 12:9)
The only love that can make a difference in this world is genuine love. Genuine love meets the standard given to us in (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. Showing love that is not genuine misrepresents God. He is the source of absolute love, and it is our responsibility to show the light of that love to the lost of this dark world. Genuine love changes the life of both the recipient and source. The shallow/ human love causes hurt in its conditional state and creates despair and loneliness when it falls short compared to the Godly version. True Christians exhibit God’s true love, through the power of His spirit.
Many people are deceived into thinking that they are saved because they believe in Jesus. There is a difference in believing in Jesus and being saved because you accept Him as Lord to guide your life. How often do we see a professed Christian so full of anger and lacking forgivness that it pushes people away from getting to know Jesus? I fell the passage below shows us what the qualities of a genuine Christian look like. These are the qualities that draw the lost to Jesus. Many more people will find Jesus through our actions that reflect our heart than through words. I will break the passage into 12 characteristics to discover what each of these qualities can look like in us.
(Romans 12:9-21) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 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, Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.