Romans 12:9-21

Do Not React in Like Manner

One of the major challenges in everyday life is people.  People irritate, annoy, criticize, complain and cause you to react similarly.  So the human tendency is to get even by reacting just like them. These actions and reactions cause strife, trouble, and disunity.

The child of God is supposed to react and respond in a different manner or as the scripture says as a "new creature" in Christ.  Under the instruction of the Word and leading of the Holy Spirit, the believer speaks and behaves in a godly manner and becomes a genuine example of the work and power of God in their life.  It is the believer's opportunity and responsibility to be gentle to all in words, attitude, and conduct in general which is the living proof of God in their life.

Responding in like manner to those that irritate and hurt creates more problems and is not the conduct of an obedient believer.  We should carefully consider what impression we have on others after having a difficult encounter with them.  In the power of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can and should be gentle to all.

Behaving as a Christian

It is a great joy to join hands, hearts and energy to work and share together.  These children in Zambia are strengthening their friendships and enjoying being with friends.  This is a visual picture of what the Apostle Paul had in mind in our passage for today.  The great joy of investing in others, overlooking their faults, and reaching out in kindness and mercy is the opportunity of believers.  Yet many times the focus is on what people have done to us or words that brought about strife and tension. 

The great blessing of the body of Christ is to impact and reach a lost world with the Gospel. However this is often hindered and derailed by the actions and words among believers.  In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus instructs that we are to be lights and salt in a world of darkness and sin.  But the light is not shining in many instances because of the attitudes, confusion, and strife among believers.

By the power and wisdom of God working in the believer’s life, they can live as Paul writes about in Romans 12.  Are we behaving as Christians?  Is there strife and tension in our conduct?  Matthew 5:23-24 instructs us to ask for forgiveness and Matthew 18:21-35 teaches us to forgive. 

Are we lights in a dark world? Are we behaving as a Christian?