Love in Action - Romans 12:14

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trucking through these love-in-action directives, mentally checking them off like the Rich Young Ruler. Most of these commands have come quite naturally to me.

Hating evil, clinging to good--easy!

Share with others--happy to!

But then came verse 14—and if I’m being completely honest, this one is really a challenge! Paul instructs us to bless those who persecute us—bless and not curse.

I’ll be the first to admit this is a struggle for me. It is not my knee-jerk reaction to bless someone who isn’t treating me well. I’m much more apt to want to vent about it to someone, but here, Paul has outlined explicitly that we are to bless and not curse.

It smacks of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5 when he challenged his followers to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Perhaps these instructions offer a clue as to the first step in changing our hearts toward those we’re less inclined to cozy up to.

Have you ever tried to pray when you’re angry? Holding on to indignation is hard when you assume the humble heart and posture prayer demands. Likewise, praying for someone who has hurt us forces us to lay aside our prejudices and consider them through the eyes of our mutual Father-our anger is assuaged.

The opposite is true for what happens when we choose to vent (or curse) about them instead. By indulging our indignation, we perpetuate our self-pity and dig ourselves deeper into the sinful action that Paul tells us to avoid.

If, like me, you struggle with blessing those who curse you, I challenge you to pray. If you’re not up to praying specifically for the offender, start by asking God to soften your heart and give you eyes to see them as souls in need of a savior. In so doing, you’ll make strides toward a life of love in action.


PS - Want to keep this verse with you all week long? Just take a screenshot of the image (or download it) to use as your lock screen!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.