Read: Romans 12:9-13:1
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.“
“13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (NIV Romans 12:9-13:1)
Study: First-century Rome was a lot like Washington, D.C.—obsessed with political maneuvers and intrigue. So it was especially striking that, in his letter to Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul virtually ignored human power struggles (Nero was probably emperor when Paul wrote). Instead, he called the Christians to live as Jesus, their true king, did. They were to seek peace, to overcome evil with good, to live as citizens of God’s invisible yet supreme kingdom. Romans 13 reflected ideas common in Paul’s day, and no doubt the facts of life in an empire that did not allow dissent from the emperor’s rule. But it went deeper. Paul later urged behavior the emperor couldn’t monitor: “Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority…. This is right and it pleases God our savior” (1 Timothy 2:2-3).
Prayer: Lord God, I like being right. It’s hard to accept that good people can reach different conclusions. Keep teaching me how, in your spirit, to live at peace with all people. Amen