I’ll start with a confession: In my effort to focus on a passage in Romans 12, I lost focus! I had to tell myself to stop, put the temptation of writing about some other “pressing” matter aside, and stick to my plan.
Oh, how easy it is in life to be distracted.
So, as I look at this verse, this post almost writes itself:
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.*
Loss of focus has really affected our relationships in this world today. Just think about the last time you heard the word devoted. In the last week? Last year? Last decade?
I think it’s safe to say that devotion is a lost art, because it takes effort, and if there is one thing most people do not want to put into a relationship — it’s effort. Of course, Paul’s not talking about marriage relationships here, but he easily could be. No, he’s talking about relationships among the body of believers in Christ.
This is what people in the Church are supposed to do. We are to show devotion to each other; and not just devotion, but loving devotion.
How’s that working for you? For your church?
Once again, as he did in his admonition to love sincerely, in the previous verse, Paul uses the second statement to help us practice the first. How can we show loving devotion to our fellow brother and sister? Honor them above ourselves.
Easier said than done, I’d wager, but thankfully, we follow Christ, who gives us the strength to do all things through him. I think that’s the key:
In my own strength, I can’t put others first or show devoted love.
I have to rely on Christ to increase in me, as I offer myself as a living sacrifice.* Those earlier verses were all about humility and using sober judgement to keep the proper perspective on your role in the Body of Christ. When I remember that I’m just one part of the whole, that each member is important in the work of the Kingdom, then I’m more inclined to give honor to those sitting in the pew next to me on Sunday, to show loving devotion when I know they’re hurting or sick or struggling with sin.
Keeping the attitude of Christ is the only way to put others first over self.
What can you do this week to make things right with the other parts of your local Body? Does it need to start with a time of confession to God? or maybe to someone else? Ask God to open your eyes this Sunday to find an opportunity to show another person the honor and devotion long overdue. It’s worth the effort.
Grace and Peace
Romans 12:10 (NIV)
*See Romans 12:1.