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In the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans, Paul gives some instructions to the believers in Rome. His words to them are words to us today. As leaders, we must seek to live a lifestyle that is true to the character of our heavenly father. We must lead others to embrace the same. We are people of God, not mere people of the world. We are the family of God who have been regenerated to live as salt and light to our world. We are the book that the world reads, written in our hearts and minds and seen in the actions of our lives. We are the gate of heaven and the place of invitation for others to find heaven’s grace. We must present our bodies in every way to think as new creations in Christ and to live as testimonies of Christ. We do this in our own unique way, but we all seek to live in the same manner. Some of us are perceivers and we see for the sake of others. Some of us are graced to serve and we inspire others to serve. Some are gifted with mercy, and they invoke us all to be merciful. There are those who lead, those who exhort, those who give, and those who teach. These are the different motivations of our lives for the sake us all together.
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
These describe our giftings, but no matter what our giftings are we have common attributes to our way of life in this world. Paul writes in the remaining verses of this chapter in regard to how we should act. I call these the actions of Christian beings. This is my observation of these things:
We are to love without hypocrisy. We can’t pretend to love. We must love. We are to abhor evil – to detest it, avoid it, and to have nothing in us that desires it. The evidence is seen in our attachment to all that is good. We are to cling to what is good in every situation, at all times. We must never forget who we are. We are family! We are the family of God! We must be kindly affectionate to one another with love that is the love of family. We should practice playing second fiddle. It is with honor that we give preference to another over our own selves. This means to seek the wellbeing of others and to give them opportunity for life even at our own sacrifice. Perhaps this even means being a good listener rather than seeking to be a good teacher to someone else in life. We must never be lagging in diligence. This means we are responsible with all that has been given to us in life. What has been given to us is for the sake of giving life to our world. We should be the first to show up when showing up is needed! We set an example that encourages others to step up to the plate when needed. This includes being fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (not your own agendas). We must have a right attitude and a right focus in life. We rejoice in hope! That hope includes an expectancy of God doing good, even when our expectations fail us. We must be patient in tribulation. Trouble only last for the night. We can expect Jesus to be our salvation in every situation. We will reap a harvest of life in due time. We must be unshakeable in our determination, being steadfast in prayer. Our lifestyles are ones of a face-to-face relationship with God every hour of our day. Our conversations with Him include listening to Him and allowing our confessions to be led by His Spirit in every way. We take care of one another, even in practical ways. We give to the needs of one another. We are hospitable in our attitudes and actions. We make room for others in the space of our living in this world. When we are treated wrongly, we don’t respond by treating those who treat us wrongly in the same way. We bless and we do not curse. We think the best. We practice being innocent to evil and wise to what is good. We choose to look for the good in others. When someone else is blessed, we rejoice in their blessing. When someone is in sorrow, we empathize with their pain. We rejoice with those who rejoice, and we weep with those who weep. We exhibit the attributes of real friends. We must never think that we are better than others in some way. We are no better nor are we less than someone else. We must never be wise in our own opinion. We can never think that we know it all. We are responsible for our own attitudes and our own actions in life and must never repay evil with evil. We must mind our own business and deal with our own hearts. We are to have regard for good things in the sight of all men. We look for the good and show ourselves honorable in life. We do everything we can to live in peace with everyone. This doesn’t simply mean say peace, peace when there is no peace. It simply means we don’t look to provoke a riot in the hearts of others. When treated unfairly, we don’t avenge ourselves. We let God repay. That is God’s business, and we leave God’s stuff alone. If our enemy hungers we feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. We are not just kind because we think someone deserves it. We are kind people! In our kindness we hope to heap coals of fire on our enemy’s head. This isn’t to destroy them, it is to give them light, heat, and a way to cook their food. If we had their life, we might be an enemy too. Just maybe, our love action might inspire them to “get a life”. We must never be overcome by evil, but we must overcome evil with good. Don’t react to what is bad, make plans for good. Don’t respond to evil, be an influencer of good and evil will flee. These are attributes of sons and daughters of God in the family of God as an influence of light to our world. As leaders, these are the values for which we lead. These are twenty-five doings of Christian beings
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
- Love without hypocrisy.
- Abhor what is evil.
- Cling to what is good.
- Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.
- In honor, give preference to one another. Practice playing second fiddle.
- Don’t be lagging in diligence. Be responsible!
- Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (not your own agendas). Have a right attitude and a right focus!
- Rejoice in hope.
- Be patient in tribulation. Trouble only lasts for the night.
- Be steadfast in prayer.
- Distribute to the needs of the saints. Follow through the process.
- Be given to hospitality. Let it become a habit!
- Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Think the best. Be innocent to evil and wise to good.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice.
- Weep with those who weep.
- Be a friend to one another.
- Don’t think that you are better than others in some way. Don’t be stuck up.
- Don’t be wise in your own opinion. Don’t think you know it all.
- Repay no one evil for evil. Mind your business. Deal with your own heart.
- Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. Look for the good and show yourself honorable.
- Do everything you can to live in peace with everyone.
- Do not avenge yourselves. Let God repay. Leave God’s stuff alone.
- If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink. Don’t just be kind because you think someone deserves it.
- In your kindness, believe that you might heap coals of fire on your enemy’s head. Just maybe, your love action might inspire them to “get a life”.
- Don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Don’t react! Make plans for good, don’t respond to evil.
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