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!
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality
We are called to rely on God as our provider. He is the source of everything we need. Living a life as an image bearer of Christ leads us down a path that may differ from the one we think is best. We are to have faith that God’s plans are better and His provision more abundant than we could provide for ourselves. Relying on God assures that His provision is appropriate for the journey He made us to travel. God blesses His faithful to overflowing so that we might show the same blessings to the people around us. We are to contribute to the needs of fellow believers as we work together to glorify God and His kingdom. We are also called to show hospitality to all people and love them as we love ourselves. I believe that God’s blessing used in accordance to His will results in joy and peace which is provision only God can give.
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.
Serve the Lord
Service of the Lord is an abandoning of self in its most complete form. Serving God requires that we keep our eyes on our purpose in His kingdom. We must allow God to fill us with His spirit and allow Him to mature the spirit and guide us. Our fallen nature inclines us to try and lead ourselves by what we can see and understand. How much more fulfilling is our service to God if we accept what our all-seeing and all-knowing Lord leads us in? How much joy and peace can we find than if we rely on a God whose love for us will bless us beyond our own imaginations? Truly serving God requires a selflessness that looks out of place in this selfish world. The light that shines from a selfless believer draws attention to the focus of our servitude. Our service gives glory to God. We were created to give God glory. Do it in service to the Lord.
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.
Outdo one another in showing honor/give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all
Honor speaks to admiration for what is good, valuable, or important. Attempting to ‘outdo’ one another shows the importance of improvement in this quality. We must continue to always keep our eyes toward what is good, valuable, and important. What encompasses these qualities better than the most important and valuable relationship we have with the source of all good? We must keep our eyes on the things of this world that glorify God and advance His kingdom. We must find joy in the admiration of His work in us and through us. This show of honor toward things that exceed the fallen nature of this world will draw the lost to God’s light. God’s way is honorable in the sight of every person, sinfulness blinds them to His truth. Our goal has to be to show them what honoring God looks like in real world application. Only then will the value of God’s presence be understood.