Romans 12:6-21 – “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” NASU
We have covered verses 6-16a and now it is my hope to open some beautiful truths and give some beneficial things we can incorporate into our daily lives. I believe that in verses 6-12 we have a most powerful guide to daily living and when embraced will bring incredible personal victory of sin and discouragement. It will lead us to triumph rather than depression.
THE FINAL ADMONITIONS FOR LIFE.
In the first part of verse sixteen, we are told, “Be of the same mind toward one another…” We discussed that this could and should be viewed in the light of how we would feel and react what we would desire if we were in the same situation. Then the sentence continues, “…do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.” That admonition was repeated several times by our LORD in the Gospels. We are never to have partiality or show favoritism in our relationships with others. A man in a lofty economic status is no better or worse than the man in poverty. The so-called ‘beautiful people’ are not better than the ‘unwashed masses.’ God shows no partiality and judges the heart, not the bank account or the exterior. Our response to everyone should be patterned after our Lord Jesus and not simply personal preference or appearance.
We are then warned not to become “Self-Inflated” in our own eyes. The Bible tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. No, it is not saying be down on yourself, but the call is for humility. The call is to remember that all we have comes from God. Our talents and abilities came from Him. He equipped us and although we had to work to hone those gifts, talents, and abilities, their root and source are Him!
In verse seventeen we are given a much-needed warning – NEVER and the emphasis must be on NEVER pay back evil for evil. An eye for an eye is an Old Testament Principle that was nailed to the Cross in Jesus. We are to be those who forgive not those who hold grudges and we must remember that God said, “Vengeance is mine.” It is not our right or place to be judge, jury, and executioner. We are not God. We are to forgive and place them in His hands and He will do what is right and needed.
We are to give respect and honor to what is Right both publicly and privately. Integrity must be a cornerstone in our lives. Then, he says something that places a major emphasis on our determination and personal responsibility. In verse eighteen we are told, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Some will not allow us to be at peace, but we must seek peace and extend the olive branch of peace to all men. We must be those who practice, “soft words” rather than “harsh words” of strife and discord. We must never be sowers of discord. He then returns to the matter of personal revenge and says NEVER. If you do, you hinder God’s wrath and judgment upon evil.
Here is the most difficult part of this entire message, verses twenty and twenty-one are often bitter pills to swallow but swallow we must if we are to become what God desires and be “like Christ.”
“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Wow! Lord, I react to this as I do to the admonition of James telling me to “count it all joy when trials come my way.” This is so hard! If a person is an antagonist and one who has sought your harm physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially extending a helping hand is next to impossible for most. We must also be careful not to focus on the last portion of that directive and say, “Well, I’m heaping burning coals on their heads.” We are, but not if the thought of burning coals is part of our thirst for vengeance or revenge. No, that transpires when we release them to God and He begins to deal with them. In that dealing the coals of conviction fall upon them and they find it, as did Saul of Tarsus, “difficult to kick against the pricks.”
The last verse is powerful and should provide incredible comfort in our pursuit of godliness and righteousness. “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” I realize that many times it seems that we are doing anything but overcoming when we seek to extend good to those bent on evil, harm, and destruction. But it is a matter of Faith and Trust. If we believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do – WE CAN DO THIS!
God bless you and may the LORD help you become all you can be in Him and live those Life Principles in your daily walk. Have a Great Day!