Romans is a powerful book of the bible. My church just went through a study of it, week by week. We were challenged to memorize Romans 12, which is specifically about getting along. I didn’t totally accomplish it in time, but it has stuck with me, and on this lazy morning while sipping coffee, I gave it a go. I’d like to quote it from my memory. It’s based on the NIV, but as I’m not the best memorizer, it may not be exact! Here it is:
Therefore, I urge you brothers, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not confirm any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me, I say to you, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought. Rather thing of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith given you.
Just as each of us has one body with many members and each member has a different function, so in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to the others. We all have different gifts, according to the grace God has given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is teaching, let him teach; if it is serving, let him serve, if it is encouraging, let him encourage. If it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously. If it is leadership, let him govern diligently. If it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourself. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor in serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. By doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
That’s Romans 12! I’m sure I’m forgetting a line in the middle….but that’s the gist of it. The point of going through this passage is that humans have a hard time getting along. Nothing hurts people, relationships, or a church congregation like our own pride that constantly gets in the way. Paul is telling is in this chapter how to better get along so we can function as members of the same body, the body of Christ.
Here’s your challenge, memorize something today that will inspire you! Something that will challenge you to be a better person and better abled to impact this hard world for good.