Live in Harmony

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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.”  Romans 12:14-18

It would be a good idea for us to read these words every morning before leaving the house.  A concise, clear, beautiful reminder of how God would have us treat others.

But, oh, so difficult to pull off.

Because, let’s be honest, sometimes we deal with some difficult people during the day.  People who irritate us, fight against us, gossip about us.  People that seem to have it out for us for no particular reason.

Paul would have us love them…empathize with them…refuse to seek revenge…live peaceably with them.   He would have us check our egos at our door before leaving the house, and he would have us humbly listen to others’ points of view, instead of being “wise in our own sight.”

Living in harmony is hardly the mark of our society.  We are often a contentious, arrogant lot.  Always pointing out our opponents’ faults, while rarely acknowledging our own.  But Paul – inspired by the Holy Spirit – gives us a beautiful reminder of how God would have us treat others.

Perhaps after reading these words before leaving the house…we should pray that God would give us the strength to live them out.

Dear Heavenly Father, You are good and gracious and bless us in countless ways.  One of those ways You’ve blessed us is teaching us how to treat our neighbor in love.  Not only that, You’ve shown us what it looks like in Your Son Jesus Christ, who loved all and willingly suffered and died for all.  Give us by Your Spirit a Christ-like attitude and heart in dealing with our neighbors.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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