On Mutual Love
Romans 12:9-21; Proverbs 6:16-19
The Lord tells us to love one another, not just ourselves, and love what is good and hate what is evil. The Lord despises proud hearts that look down on others. Hating what is evil pertains to hating the act of wrongdoing that a sinner does, but not the sinner himself. Do not hate the sinner, for we are all sinners. We shouldn’t judge one another for we have no place in judging one another. Only the sinless and pure have the right to judge. Judging is the job of the Lord. However, we do have a right to rebuke one another out of love and concern, if such actions are against what the Lord teaches us.
There is a difference between rebuking and scolding or confronting the person. Rebuking is what Jesus did in His earthly life. Rebuking involves love and concern for the person, while scolding and confronting and and getting mad at the person involves traces of pride, selfishness, self-righteousness and lack of concern for the feelings of the other person. No matter how harsh the person is to you, you should still treat him with love and respect and never curse him. No matter how harsh that person is, if we rebuke him but still love and respect him, unexplainable things happen in his head. This is the grace and power of God working in his mind. Such is guilt. This is how God works. Take for example, Judas, who killed himself after betraying the Lord. Conscience and guilt seeped in. If we coerce them with the same treatment as we receive, then nothing good will ever come out of it. It’s like opening another can of worms.
We should watch the words that come out of our mouths, especially when we feel offended, hurt, or feel like correcting others. Instead on focusing on ourselves and our own feelings or well-being, we should focus on the fact that we are all sinners, including ourselves, and we should also focus on others. The suffering that we currently have are in no match for what Jesus, Son of God, suffered. Imagine, the Son of God was sent down from heaven to guide us and show us the way to His kingdom. Yet we spat on Him, we brutally hurt Him with both words and physically, and humiliated Him beyond description. He sweated blood and died due to so much intense pain. If our Creator in the person of Jesus have endured all that, then who are we to get mad and complain for every little suffering that we have?
We should not be wise in our own estimation. When we attempt to correct others, we have to make sure that we don’t place ourselves highly above them, but instead correct them with the real intention of making them see the errors that they have committed without offending them, belittling them, or making ourselves look good or righteous to ourselves and to others. We should also make sure that whatever we are error trying to correct in that person is really an error in the eyes of God. Many of our corrections on others are rooted to pride, manipulation, greed, and the desire for earthly things such as having a place of honor among the people. (self-righteousness)
Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals list of what the Lord hates, and the first in the list is pride. When one has too much pride, a little bruise on his ego sends him amok. Plus there is no room for God’s graces in the hearts of proud people. Unless we learn to humble ourselves, we will never get to have a real relationship with God. Plus we should not only be concern with ourselves, but we should “have the same regard for one another” as stated in Romans 12:15.
We should not repay sin with vengeance as well, for this is not our place, either. Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Only the Lord knows what is best for each one of us, and that includes our offenders. For if we rely on our sinful selves, what kind of effect will we have over others? Nothing, for we are all sinners.