Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Living in Harmony

on February 25, 2014

 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. 

There is a lot to unpack in Romans 12:16.  I considered breaking it up, but I feel it is important to look at the entire verse as one command:

I believe this verse states that love is a choice to  be at peace with each other.  Let’s take a look at the individual words in this particular verse.

harmony: I found several definitions for harmony which appealed to me in the context of this verse.

a :  pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts

b:  correspondence ( a direct relationship to or with something or between two things)  accord (to bring into agreement :  reconcile (to restore to friendship or harmony )

 c:  internal calm :  tranquillity (free from agitation of mind or spirit)

“with one another”: This phrase illustrates the togetherness of love.  The we, the us.  I believe this phrase is a powerful reminder that relationship cannot exist in isolation.  Therefor, neither can love.

proud:  having or displaying excessive self-esteem  (While self-esteem is the way of the world, Jesus calls us into a deeper reality where too much self-anything leads to dissension in relationship; the adversary of love)

willing: quick to act or respond : doing something or ready to do something without being persuaded

associate: to join as a partner, friend, or companion

with: used to say that people or things are together in one place

“people of low position”: I found one translation of this phrase as “people who are humble”.  I really feel that particular translation speaks to the heart of this.  It would make complete sense that Christ would call us to enter into relationship with people that are “humble”.  One definition I like of humble is “Thinking more about others than I do about myself”.

conceited: having or showing too much pride in your own worth or goodness

(All definitions courtesy of http://www.merriam-webster.com)

Here is what I take away from this verse after spending some time unpacking its elements:

Exist in relationship with one another that is free of agitation of mind and spirit. Do not show excessive self-esteem, but instead be ready to join together with people who are humble.  Do not show too much pride in your own worth or goodness.

God is showing me so much about what it truly means to BE love.  If I ever wondered how I’m doing in my relationships, I am finding Romans 12:9-21 to be a mirror that I can spend some time looking in and end up seeing my true reflection.

I recognize that the only One who can do any of this perfectly is Christ Himself.  I realize that I am a constant work in progress.  There are areas that God is growing me in, areas that He has done an amazing redemptive work, and areas that are left to be transformed in His time.  I am so grateful that He loves me, and that He shows me how to be love to those around me!

REFLECT

When you look into the mirror of verse 16, what does your reflection look like?

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