17For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.Romans 14:17-19
5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.Romans 15:5-7
More than anything, I daily desire to walk in peace and joy, in harmony with those around me. Too often I am waylaid because I mistakenly think it is something I need to do, something I can work up within myself.
The ability to love others, to live in harmony, to walk in peace and joy, trying to build others up — that’s a work of the Holy Spirit. It is God who enables me to do the unnatural. Earlier in Paul’s letter to Rome he said this:
…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:5
Trying to love others and live in harmony with those I disagree with is impossible on my own. Thanks be to God, he has given me all the resources I need, if only I access it. It is the Holy Spirit who fills my heart with HIS love, enabling me to live a life of patient encouragement.
The worst thing is not that I can’t love others on my own, it’s refusing to admit it; pretending that I have the resources to make it possible. But I don’t. Perhaps my daily prayer ought to be this: Father, make me a Romans 5:5 woman — fill my heart with your love and let it overflow and spill on everyone I meet today!
Every day, every where we go, we splash something on those we meet. What are you splashing out? Is it fitting for a follower of Jesus?