With my last post in this series I want to share one final insight, but first let me briefly review the previous two posts. In the first part of this series I shared on personal transformation (Romans 12:1-2). You can read it here. In the second part of this series I wrote about allowing God to help you identify the gift that He has given you (Romans 12:3-8) and the significance of serving in ministering to others. You can read part 2 here.
When we allow God to take us through the first two steps mentioned above, He calibrates and positions our hearts to be in a place that allows us to foster and grow wonderful relationships with those around us. Let’s pick back up in Romans 12 starting in verse 9:
9 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.
When we are connected to the Lord, we don’t have to manufacture genuine and pure love for others. Our hearts are sensitive to the love of the Lord and the grace that God has so lavishly poured out on us. Furthermore, we then can use the gifts God has given us (which we talked about in part 2) from Romans 12:6-8 to really minister the powerful working of the Holy Spirit to others.
Verse 10 encourages us to take delight in honoring one another. I love that. When we honor from a place of love and respect for the intrinsic value that God places on us, His creation, it is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. So, maybe you are facing a situation currently where it has been a challenge to honor the other party involved. Ask the Lord to give you a heart to see that person the same way He sees them and then honor what He shows you.
13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:13-18)
Wow! When I read through verses 13-18, I try to visualize how those practical instructions bless people. I think there are so many wonderful examples and very plainly-stated, yet profound, insight into how to build wonderful relationships. Insight instructing us how to be a people who can cultivate strong meaningful relationships in very diverse environments.
But, do you know what really sticks out to me? Authenticity. Authentic people are so refreshing to be around and authenticity is contagious. It also paves the way for trust to be established.
So let’s land the plane, so to speak.
God first says to us, “Come to Me. Give Me all of who you are. Allow Me to renew your mind so you can see yourself the way I see you.”
Secondly, He calls us, by faith, to allow Him to reveal His gifts which He desires to give us and encourages us to add our uniqueness as a part of the body to the whole body serving one another.
Lastly, He gives us a vision of what the first two steps produce: an environment of strong, loving, honoring and fruitful relationships. So we seek to carry ourselves in a way that produces those kind of authentic relationships wherever the Lord has us.
Ultimately we are to be imitators of Christ. I believe that Jesus prioritized his connection with people above even His own status and reputation. All so that those we minister to would experience the love of the Father. We won’t ever have to wonder if we are being successful so long as we endeavor to follow his lead.
Go out and serve with everything you have!
Blessings to you!