Seriously I love the book of Romans.
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:21
Paul is encouraging and exhorting the church to be different, to be that peculiar people, to love, to quit pretending! It’s beautiful really. We spend most of our lives trying to fit in and Paul tells us the opposite. We should stand out because of what we believe and who marks our life! There is something to understanding our identity.
The top 3 stories on Google news today are the war in Afghanistan, New York voting down gay marriage, and the mess surrounding Tiger Woods. Let’s face it, our world is a mess. It shouldn’t be that hard to want to flee that image. Yet we as Christ followers might as well be in that top 3. We do nothing to conquer the evil in our world. We do a lot to point out what is bad. We do a lot to point out what we think is sin. But we often forget to shed light on what is good. We forget to tell others that there is something to hope for in life. We have completely missed what Paul is saying:
Romans 12:9-13 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Romans, it’s good right? I will decide to do what is good, love others, work hard, serve, rejoice, have patients (trying), be ready to help and welcome others. There is a lot at stake. Be different.