“Romans 12:9-21 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
This is one of my very favorite passages in the bible. (I think, even if you’re not a Christian, this is good advice.) We live in a mean world where people are killed, maimed, raped, degraded, debased, and ignored every single day. Perhaps you feel as though you’re not ever seen or thought of by others, but, you are! Every single day people see you and get an impression of who you are and what you believe through your actions, attitude, and even facial expression. Now, here’s my question for you. If today was your last day on earth and it was the last time your family, friends and even strangers were to see you, what would you want them to see and remember forever? Every person’s answer will be different, but I will tell you what I want people to see in me. I want people to see a positive influence, a sweet smile, a loving touch, a person generous with love, comfort, helpfulness and maybe even a little colorful zaniness that makes them laugh for a moment. I want to be a person who, even if for just one minute, helps others forget all the meanness in the world. I want them to see someone who leaves them with hope, love, peace and a sense of “they matter.” I want them to see God’s love through my actions.
God loves EVERYONE, not just Christians, people like us, people in our political party or of our sexual orientation or ethnicity. GOD LOVES EVERYONE. His son, Jesus, revealed that love in everything he said and did every day of his ministry. Jesus revealed his love for us through the awful torture he willingly endured on that Friday thousands of years ago, and through rising from the dead on the third day. That’s what real love looks like! If God is love and we claim to love God, our mission every day becomes bigger than how we want people to see us or remember us. Our mission is to show God in everything we do. If we follow the instructions from Romans 12:9-21, we will be showing people God. God who is love, love and more love. So, the next time you see or meet someone, whether they be people like you or people completely different from you, show some love, even if only through your smiling eyes. I know this is a rather preachy post, but I say all these things out of love. Love is something special only if you give it away. I promise you, you’ll end having more love than you could ever imagine. You can start giving away love by following the instructions of Romans 12: 9-21.
I’ll hush now before your eyes glaze over. I love all of you very much and pray that you have a blessed Easter weekend!
This is a photo I took this morning just before dawn. Even though it was cold, snowy and mostly dark, look at what was shining through!