Romans 12:9-21 is called, ‘Love in Action’. This is an appropriate name, because It is a list of instructions on how to love. In this passage, Paul demonstrates that love is not merely an emotion, but also an action.
For most passages in the bible, we read them, and then make an interpretation. For this passage, we have no need to do this, because Paul could not have been more blunt. He uses very straight-forward, simple statements, such as ‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good’, in order to convey his message.
What is said in this passage is how we should live. It is a list of the ideal standards of our social lives:
- Love must be genuine
- Only do what is good
- Honour others above yourselves
- Always be passionate for the Lord
- Be hospitable
- Be joyful
- Be patient
- Be faithful
- Bless those you don’t like
- Live in harmony
- Do not be proud
- Do not be afraid to be seen with the less-popular
- Do not hold yourself in a view of high self-esteem
- Do not be mean back to people who are mean to you
- Be careful to do what is right
- Live in peace with everyone as far as is possible
- Do not take revenge (leave that to God!)
This list in Romans 12 sums up how we should live. Personally, I definitely break at least two of these every day! That is why I am so glad that Jesus died for us, and that, because of that, In God’s eyes I have done nothing wrong.
p.s. Those of you who know the passage well will know that I left the last one out. That is because I love how the translation plays on words, ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’.