Romans 12:9 is a wonderful verse that is a simple, direct and practical rule for living life. In The Message version of this passage Paul writes ... "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." There's some good food for our daily bread in this passage. How are we doing following this in our society?
I have to say our societal direction seems pretty reversed from this passage. We seem to be running from the things that would save us. We run from any mention of God in our schools. We run from societal values that our society deems 'prudish.' We run from the people who tell us we are going the wrong direction. We put real or perceptual distance between us and people tell us we have embedded prejudice that must be excised. We run from truth that doesn't come in the packages we like to claim for ourselves. We run from preachers who tell us our priorities are out of whack with Scripture. We sometimes run from God's call to be in our church on Sunday to hear what God has to tell us through fellowship, preaching, teaching, serving and giving. We say, "I am just needing a day to rest," forgetting that God had that figured in to His call for us to be in His house. As I write this blog I hear our bells playing God Bless America. And I am wondering whether we truly buy in to the lyrics we love to sing, "stand beside her and guider her, through the night with the light from above." We SING about our guidance and light coming from above ... but do we follow our song with action? Paul says, "run for dear life from what is evil," but do we?
Paul also gives us a very positive verse here in this short verse. "Hold on for dear life to what is good!" What are the things we should hold on to? Paul said, "hold on for dear life to good." Where do we find these good things? One place is in God's law He has written on our hearts and in our minds. "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it ... for they will all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them." writes Jeremiah (31:33-34)." Don't claim ignorance ... God has imparted this into our very being and we know.
Another place to find good is in the truth of God's Word. No wonder Satan whispers little things to drive a wedge between us and church where we hear and discuss God's teachings. So when you hear those temptations to avoid corporate fellowship (and those church-hypocrites), teaching and preaching, remember what Paul says ... "run for dear life to what is good."
A final point ... in that passage from Romans Paul uses the term "run for dear life." Do we take this seriously? I know I am guilty of glossing over this wording, but Paul reminds me this is a life and death issue for ourselves, those close to us and our children. Run TO those things that are guiding us by God's light from above.
I believe it is time to start claiming our inheritance, which includes God's leading through the dark places we encounter. If we mean the words, "Land that I love," let's love her enough to become the light, the city on a hill and the followers we have been called to be. Let's hold on to good! Randy