Living with Others
The Bible is filled with admonitions on how to build
better relationships and how to live with other people. A few years ago I read
through the Bible marking all the passages that speak of personal relationships.
I was amazed at the hundreds of passages that teach us how to live with one
another. Here are a few glimpses at relationships in Romans 12-15.
See yourself as equals. Do not look down on other people with
arrogant pride (Romans 12:3).
Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but
“think as to have a sound judgment, as God has allotted each a measure of faith”
(v. 3). A good healthy Biblical self-esteem goes a long way in developing a
winsome witness for Christ. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us strip away
all conceit in our lives. There is nothing so shallow as spiritual conceit.
"Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in
mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation"
Christians need to respect each other’s spiritual gifts (vv. 4-8).
We all enjoy the same relationship with Christ as members of the body in Christ,
but the Holy Spirit has given us different gifts according to His sovereign
choices and needs in the body (v. 6). We need to exercise these spiritual gifts
and not try to mimic someone else’s gift or envy them. We need to respect each
other and appreciate how the Holy Spirit has chosen to use us in the kingdom of
God. We need to honor and respect our own humble calling and place our service
in the body of Christ. There is no place for envy, green-eyed jealousy or
conceit in the body of Christ.
Don’t be “two-faced.” The apostle Paul said, “Let love be without
hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good” (v. 9). Do you hate evil
wherever it is found? Love does not wear a mask. It is honest, open and
Love without hypocrisy.
“Abhor what is evil.”
“Cling to what is good.”
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (v. 10a).
“Give preference to one another in honor” (v. 10b).
Serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not lag behind in
diligence, but be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (v. 11).
“Rejoice in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer”
Be giving people. “Contributing to the needs of the saints,
practicing hospitality” (v. 13).
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (v.
How do you treat your enemy? “Bless those who persecute you; bless
and curse not” (v. 14).
“Never pay back evil to anyone” (v. 17a).
“Respect what is right in the sight of all men” (v. 17b).
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all
men” (v. 18).
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the
wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the
LORD’” (v. 19).
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him
a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head” (v. 20).
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (v. 21).
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who
loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (13:8).
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the
fulfillment of the law” (v. 10).
“Accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of
passing judgment on his opinions” (14:1).
Do “not put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way”
“Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up
of one another” (v. 19).
“We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without
strength and not just please ourselves” (15:1).
“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his
edification” (v. 2).
“Accept one another just as Christ also accepted us to the glory
of God” (v. 7).
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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