Love from the Center of Who You Are
Read Romans 12:9–13 (MSG)
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
We could spend weeks on the rapid-fire commands of love that Paul sets forth in his letter to the Romans. And it will take us all our lives to surrender ourselves and our agendas enough to allow God to transform us to love in these ways. What a gift, though, to love authentically, and to be able to run from evil and hold on to good. What a gift to be a good friend and honor others above ourselves. Deep, soul satisfaction follows loving in Christ-like ways.
- As you read each of the short commands Paul includes in today’s passage, which one stands out to you? Why do you think that is?
- Reflect on a situation in which you loved from the center of who you are. What were the circumstances? What made you capable of that love? What do you need to surrender to God in order to love like this more often?
- Who do you know that always seems to be willing and able to “play second fiddle” (to lift up others and honor them above themselves)? How might you learn from them? Why is doing this hard in our culture?
God, I need Your help to love in these ways. I need patience and gentleness. I need to release my agenda and my plans in order to live out Yours. I need grace when I fail and a push when I’m selfish. Fill me with Your Spirit and awaken me to the ways I can love those around me more fully and authentically. Remind me that I’m safe in You and I am free to love. Amen.