You can click HERE to read the passage.
Some of the biggest pain that we experience in this life is not caused by injury or accident or sickness – it is caused by people. The old adage, “Sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt me” is just not true. Words hurt more and the pain lasts longer than a lot of physical pain. Evidently there were some things being said in the church in Rome that was creating hurt among its people. Yes, Christians hurt other Christians.
Why do we do that to our bothers and sisters in Christ? 1) Because we are sinners and sinful people sin against others. 2) Because we ourselves are hurting – and hurting people hurt other people. 3) Because we are immature and immature people act childish.
But what do these verses tell us we ought to do when people are being hurtful toward us:
- Look for ways to build others up instead of tearing them down (v. 2) – Our default mode is to return insult with insult. But we who have been transformed by Christ have the power within us to “turn the other cheek” and even respond with loving kindness.
- Look to and learn from the Word of God (v.4) – Mature believers are quick to run to the Scriptures instead of being quick to plot revenge and figuring out ways to get back at others when they have been hurt. The Scriptures offer us help and they offer us hope.
- Receive from God the strength and encouragement that other people will not be able to give you (v.5-6) – Sometimes people make it very hard for us to act christianly. But God can fuel us each day with what we need to be able to respond the way that we should. Here is what these verses say…
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
A couple of add-ons: 1) Make sure it is Christ that you are following and not the ways of the world or other people or your own selfish ways. 2) We have asked Jesus to come into our hearts – perhaps you might need to ask Jesus to come into your mouth if you are finding that you have not been responding to people well – that God might be glorified through you.
Think on these things.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 15:7-13
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-34