Today we read that marvellous chapter Romans 12, in which Paul lists all the good attitudes that those who believe need to have, in order to show they are committed believers. It is good to read diligently so that we correctly understand the word of God and vital that we also develop a character that becomes more like that of Christ.
Paul tells the believers in Rome to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. If our ways of thinking, and therefore our character, have been affected by the values and attitudes in today’s godless world, how vital it is that we work hard on achieving a personal transformation and “… discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (12:2).
Our daily reading of His word lays the foundation for this. “I say to everyone” writes Paul, “not to think of him(her)self more highly than he ought to think” (verse 3). He tells them, “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 honour. Do not be slothful in zeal …” (verses 9-11).
We can read through this advice too quickly and easily. With the spirit that exists in the world today, how great is the need to “hold fast” and be “patient in tribulation”. Essential in doing this is to “be constant in prayer” (verse 12).
What a challenge verse 14 is! “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them … repay no one evil for evil … never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God” (verses 14,17,19).
The chapter concludes, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – and an absolutely essential part of this is to “let love be genuine”. Remember the point Jesus made, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44,45).