We’re continuing our walk through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. In this section of the epistle, he’s talking about the walk of maturity.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
This next verse deals with how we see ourselves in God’s kingdom. That first sentence literally says, be the same toward one another. We need to realize that in Christ, none of us are any different from one another.
According to our human way of thinking, little things make big differences to us. However, these petty differences mean nothing to God.
Things like where we’re from, what we look like, money, position, and education are all immaterial to God and should be to us. We’re all the same in His eyes.
This means that bigotry and self-interest have no place in the church. That includes race and gender, as well as political preferences. We’re here to serve one another, no matter what.
Then, Paul tells us not to place our focus on high things. Instead, focus on the humble, and get carried away with them. Humility is an important part of the Christian walk. Paul isn’t the only one who talks about it.
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:5-6
I like the way Peter explains this. We’re to put on humility like a piece of clothing. It can cover over all the junk that may be going on inside of us.
But more than that, it comes with a blessing. Humility brings a covering of God’s grace with it. As we humble ourselves, we open our lives up to a release of God’s power. One of the best ways to walk in God’s grace is to live humbly with others.
Getting back to the verse in Romans, Paul’s last statement is very interesting. The original Greek reads, do not become skillful at revolving everything around yourself.
Sometimes it seems that this is how we view the Scripture and our walk with God. “God and the Bible exist simply to bless me.” Absolutely not!! God’s highest goal is to make me a blessing to others. That includes those who do not act kindly toward me.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
This is another exhortation that needs the power of God to fulfill. Don’t give back evil for evil.
Instead, we’re told to be careful. That means to consider in advance. In other words, we must prepare ourselves to do what’s good in the sight of all men – even those who hate us.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Wow! This is a big “if”. It literally says that if you have the power to bring it out of yourself, have peace around all men.
Remember, this is the fruit of the spirit of peace. It grows in you as you plant the seed of the Word and let it mature in the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
This is the peace we must live in. It’s an attitude that must be cultivated in God’s presence. This is one of the surest ways of judging maturity. It’s about how well we live with those around us.
Question: How well does your life reflect these qualities?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi