10: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11: Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12: Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13: Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14: Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15: Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17: Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20: Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21: Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul continues to give encouragement to godly living. He says be kind to one another in brotherly love. Then he describes true humility – ‘in honour preferring one another’. And what follows are short pithy exhortations to godliness. Not lazy in your daily business but fervent in spirit serving the Lord. Our daily business is to be as unto the Lord. We are to rejoice in hope to be patient in tribulation and instant in prayer. We are to provide care for the needy believers we are to provide care to those who are laid aside by sickness. We are to bless them that curse us and to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And we are to weep with those who are sorrowful. In other words we are to have empathy and to have a living understanding and feeling for the emotional state of those we meet. We are to endeavour to be of the same mind in the fellowship and we are not to be conceited but we are to relate to the poorest believer. We are not to think of ourselves as cleaver. We are not to respond in aggression to the hurts we receive. We are to provide by honest labour for our families. We are to try to live in peace with all men as much as we are able. We most certainly are not to avenge ourselves or to allow wrath to boil up within us. Vengeance belongs to the Lord not us. And he will repay evil. So if our opponent in hungry we are to feed him and if he is thirsty we are to give him drink because in doing so we will give him a great responsibility to respond in kind. We are not to be overcome by evil but we are to overcome evil with good.
- Continue to list the exhortations of this passage.
- In what ways should we be empathetic?
- What should we do when we are abused or hurt by other people?