An Example from Romans
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.Romans 12:9-10
The book of Romans, situated after the Gospels and Acts, is a powerful letter from Paul to the church in Rome. Within its pages, we find essential truths that resonate with believers today. Romans 12:9-10 specifically speaks to the qualities leaders should embody on their spiritual journey. In a world where sincerity is scarce, this passage reminds us of the transformative power of genuine love, the rejection of evil, the embrace of goodness, and the importance of devotion and honor towards others. As we unpack these verses, let us examine our hearts and embrace the call to unleash the lion within us.
For further insight on this scripture, listen to this verses Spiritual Kick Off episode here.
The Power of Sincerity
In a world where authenticity is often overshadowed by pretense, the first four words of Romans 12:9 hit home: “Love must be sincere.” Paul sets the expectation for believers to genuinely express love, not just as a feeling but through tangible actions that make a lasting impact. This requires a sincere examination of our hearts and motives as we seek to help and encourage others. Surface-level Christianity is no longer sufficient; we are called to display the fruits of love wherever we go.
Hating Evil, Clinging to Good
Paul’s instruction to “hate what is evil” may sound strong, but it carries a vital message. As believers, we are called to be set apart, recognizing the existence of evil in the world and actively opposing it. Our aim is not to harbor animosity towards individuals but to despise the darkness that ensnares them. Simultaneously, we are called to “cling to what is good.” Picture yourself clinging tightly to a railing on a high bridge or a toddler holding onto your leg. In the same way, we are urged to cling to goodness with unwavering determination, never letting go. Goodness should drive our actions as followers of Christ, guiding our decisions and interactions.
Devotion and Honor
Amidst the busyness of life, true devotion seems to be fading. However, Paul reminds us of the importance of being devoted to one another in love. This devotion extends beyond the relationships we naturally gravitate towards, encompassing all fellow believers. As a united body, we can come alongside one another in the battles of life, offering support, encouragement, and genuine care. Additionally, Paul challenges us to honor one another above ourselves. This counters the world’s self-centered mindset that constantly seeks personal gain. Instead, we are called to flip the script and place the needs and honor of others before our own.
Choosing Areas of Focus
Reflecting on these verses, we are prompted to consider which areas we want to prioritize in our lives. Will we strive to love sincerely, turning away from evil and embracing goodness? Will we commit to being someone others can count on, or will we sacrificially love others, regardless of their status or position? I challenge you to select two areas and actively apply them this week. By doing so, you will tap into the untamed power within you—the lion ready to be unleashed.
Romans 12:9-10 offers a roadmap for believers, guiding us to embrace authentic love, reject evil, cling to goodness, exhibit devotion, and honor others. As we live out these qualities, we become catalysts for transformation in our families, communities, and beyond. Let us break free from the masks of insincerity, hate what is evil, and embrace the goodness that surrounds us. May we commit to being devoted to our fellow believers and honor them above ourselves. Together, let us unleash the Lion Within us and exemplify the love of Christ to a world in desperate need.