We continue to look at how to properly respond to God’s great mercy toward us by becoming living sacrifices, which is holy and pleasing to God and is our true worship. Because we are all members of one body, we are to support one another (Rom 12:4-5).
We continue looking at the bullet-point commands Paul gives in this chapter on how to live our lives in one body: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” (Rom 12:9-15)
As we discussed in the last verse, we are (like Christ) to long for the best for others even when they intentionally hurt us: we are to bless those people and not curse them. If we did curse them, then we wouldn’t be available to empathize with them and be beside them in both their joy and their sadness. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” (Rom 12:15)
As I was studying this Scripture, I was reminded of a similar one in Paul epistle to Ephasus: “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Eph 4:32) We are to understand that others (like ourselves) aren’t perfect, and yet Christ died for us all. Believers are not to be known for a harsh attitude, but rather for compassion.
Like the passage we are studying, Eph 4:17–32 is a valuable, highly practical explanation of how to live out a Christian life. Christians are called on to ”put away” the things which entangle unbelievers. This includes sins such as malice, slander, commotion, and bitterness. Instead, we should demonstrate a Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness. It is in love and forgiveness, that we are able to be compassionate to one another and “rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” (Rom 12:15)
Lord, keep me tender-hearted that I may be able to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Let me see others through Your eyes so that I have compassion for others so that I can be kind and forgive others like You. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.