The Loudmouth Protestant

September 1, 2008

There It Is: Romans 12:9-21

Filed under: bible,christians,God,life,love — nickisym @ 11:38 pm
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I spent the bulk of this weekend at Holy Cross, a monastery in upstate New York. It was a time of reflection for me and though I had these big ideas about how I was going to relate to God this weekend–on my first evening there I actually prayed that he’d wake me up in the middle of the night just so we could talk “Old Testament” style–He really helped me to actively do nothing.

I spend most of my life just “going” and “doing” without actually being. I live in the busiest city in the world and have to admit that a lot of my life is about being busy. Too busy for myself, my friends, my family and most importantly my God. This summer has been one of the first times in a few years where I’ve taken the time to not do much and it felt great. But alas, my time of carefree activity is about to come to a close and like a child getting ready for the school year, I have to get ready to recommit myself to ministry, to myself and to God.

Nevertheless, yesterday morning in Eucharist service, one of the monks delivered a word about the church as it stands in its physical structure and as it stands in the spiritual structure which we all embody. He referred to a scripture in Romans 12 that would serve as a great list of admonitions that every Christian should walk with–much like Nick Carraway did in the ‘The Great Gatsby.’ I never thought of it as a list but when he ran down each of the admonitions I realized I needed to walk with that list for sure. 

To that end, I thought I’d share the list based on Paul’s conversation to the young church at Rome in Romans 12:9-21.

1. Love one another (Paul emphasizes that we really need to love each other, not just pretend)

2. Hate what is wrong

3. Take delight in honoring each other. (The English Standard Version, says ‘Outdo one another in showing honor.’)

4. Hold tightly to what is good

5. Work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically

6. Rejoice in confident hope

7. Be patient in trouble

8. Keep on praying

9. Help God’s people in need

10. Be eager to practice hospitality

11. Bless those who persecute you

12. Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep

13. Live in harmony with each other

14. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people

15. Don’t think you know it all

16. Never pay back evil with more evil

17. Do things in such a way that everyone can see that you are honorable

18. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

19. Never take revenge.

20. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


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