Saturday, November 17, 2012

Coming in the opposite spirit

So this morning I thought it would be good to wrap up Romans 12. I think for many Christ followers these verses are some of the hardest to live by, partly I think because we think that we have a responsibility to ourselves to standup to and defend against those who do us wrong, hurt us, lie about us and curse us. Many times we give these folks way too much or our head space and time. We had a special speaker at church last night one of things he said was "that he would much rather count his allies than his enemies." I personally have been a big fan of coming in the opposite spirit, these verses are a prime example of how that works. When you continue to bless and be nice to those that are trying to come against you it confuses them and ultimately it gives you control over the relationship. When you allow them to suck you into being negative and defensive you are giving them control. In Matthew 5 Jesus says "“But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." He isn't telling us to let others beat us or to be whipping posts, He is telling us to not let others (especially the evil ones) to control our reactions. Even though in the natural we could probably really hurt them, if we turn it to the spiritual and bless them the natural will be overcome.

Romans 12:14-21 - Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.

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