December 10, 2017. Romans 11-13
In Order. Hugging a Cactus.
Standing out is always one of the hardest things in life, being the odd one out and being different from everyone else around you. What makes it even worse is when you are mocked and given a hard time for it, almost as if you have a giant target on your forehead for others to hurl insults at you.
When that happens the thoughts that maybe you should just give in and start looking and acting like everyone else around you. Maybe you should start watching the same things or participating in the same activities. However, that is not the answer.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are called to be different, to stand out from the crowd. It is never easy and times may get difficult and you may hurt and feel angry.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Sometimes turning the other cheek or being kind to someone you would not call a friend is hard, but the reward is so worth it. You may even think you would have better luck hugging a cactus, but have you ever said something kind in the face of someone who has wronged you? Did you notice their reaction? Usually, it is met with confusion and they rarely know how to respond back. Let them see that even in the midst of anger, hurt, contempt, jealousy, whatever it may be, you will still show them, love. Stand out and be different and show them a love that can only come from Lord himself. It is a challenge at times, but it is one worth taking on.