Roman’s 12 is just hard. I have been reading in Roman’s for months now. I have wrestled with almost all of it.It not fluffy, or full of happiness. It is a serious look at who God is and how we should be because of that truth. Roman’s 12 basically lays it out. No mincing words, no embellishing the commands to make them easy to swallow. Just a command – do these things.And all the things are hard. Really hard.
The kind of commands that make me ask. “Are you sure, God? Cause, really, this seems a bit much.” Commands like, never be lazy, be patient in trouble, be ready to help others. Then it delves into those commands that are just flat out opposite of everything our humanness feels and thinks. “Bless those who persecute you.” Does any one else feel like you would be doing a lot of “blessing” if you followed this rule all the time?
Then He takes it one step further, “Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” If this meant bless them by taking them out of my life, maybe. But, no. The verse means pray that goodness will abound for them. Oh my. The verses go on to say not to repay evil with evil. My hurt feelings, and frustrations, and anger have trouble with this one.
So I’ve prayed about it, thought about it, and looked at it from various angles. Three thoughts struck me. First, why would God set it up that way? Because He loves His people. He doesn’t want us going around repaying each other for all the bad that we do. We have all seen where that kind of chaos can lead. We would go back and forth until we hurt each other. Period.
Second, He also knows that holding in anger and bitterness eats us alive. They are like an acid – destroying us more and more as we allow it to fester. He wants what is best for us – and so He asks is to let it go.
Third, I had to realize that so often, I’m on the other side. I’m the one people are not cursing. I’m the one being given grace rather than being paid back for evil. If I want people to treat me with forgiveness and mercy – I need to offer it to them.
Knowing these truths doesn’t make it easy to obey. Doesn’t make it my first or my natural reaction. It does, however, make it worth doing. Oh, and God said to – so there is that. Maybe that is where obedience should have started, but working it out in my head and my heart has given me the why, and that will help me be obedient more often.
I am finding that much of the Bible is hard, if you really dig into it. It’s not all about me and what makes me happy and comfortable. Yet, it is still all for my good. I’m making an effort to follow Roman’s 12. There will be much prayer and much work involved I guarantee the blessings will greatly exceed the hard.