“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9
Pretty strong emotions are being solicited by Paul from those who are claiming to be followers of Jesus. He didn’t say, “Ease off a bit on that evil stuff; and at least consider the good stuff.” No, he was a bit more decisive than that! HATE is a pretty strong word, but HATE is what I am supposed to have toward whatever is evil. Apparently—no, I can get more decisive than that! FOR SURE—evil destroys, over time, all that is good; that’s the nature of evil. I can play with it, compromise with it, mess around with it, experiment with it, or just plain choose it; whatever I do with it WILL take me down. It can have no room in my life if I expect to still come out a winner. All I have to do is look around and see the effects of evil; it wreaks havoc everywhere it goes.
But on the other hand, and on a more positive proactive note, Paul suggests that I should “cling to what is good.” When I try and visualize “clinging” I imagine a person drowning and being thrown a life preserver. He “clings” to that orange ring or vest for dear life because it is literally for his dear life that he clings to it! And that should be my attitude toward “good.” For the sake of my life on this earth and for the sake of understanding more clearly the God who knows good and wants me to understand His plans for my life, now and for eternity, I want to “cling” to what He identifies as good, not just as a nice idea but as the best idea for survival. As the life preserver provides me the best chance of surviving the water predicament, so obedience and following goodness offers me the greatest probability that I can survive in this life and grasp the gift of eternal life as the bonus!
So this morning I recommit myself to not just sort of disapproving of evil, but asking God to help me hate it because all of it is SO contrary to His ways; and I recommit myself to not just basically approving of good, but clinging to it like a life preserver, thrown to me directly from God, in the white-water of life. Because it in fact IS my life preserver for this life and for understanding my God with far less distractions or disturbances.
Have a great day hating and clinging to the right things,
Quote for the day: “If the springs are polluted, the rivers are not likely to be clean.”
PS Hour of Power this week will be in the church @ 7pm in the Heritage Room with Pastor Ron. All are welcome.
PPS Joint Worship sponsored by the Social Work club tonight @ 9:30pm in the Rees Hall Chapel. A panel discussion on “Sexual Orientation and Sexual Minorities: A Christ-like response. Why should we care and what can we do?”