No Pride

Posted by Melissa

It’s the cocky guy who has a “better-than” attitude and pushes you around. It’s the popular girl who wields her power, crushing you when you try to get in her way.

You’ve seen these characters portrayed throughout pop culture in films and books. The reality, though, is that you know people just like them. Pride is at the core of who they are.

Read over Romans 12:13-16, paying close attention to verse 16.

How are you encouraged to treat others—especially those who create conflict with you—in these verses?

What does it mean to pursue hospitality? How will you do so this week?

With whom in your life are you not in agreement? What steps will you take so that you are?

How have you seen your own pride get in the way of resolving a conflict?

In a culture that tells you, “You’re number one in your life, and no one else matters,” pride is quick to jump in the front seat when you’re facing conflict with someone else head-on. In verse 16, Paul says three very important things that are extremely opposite of what you’ve been told:

• Live in harmony.

• Don’t be arrogant.

• Don’t be a know-it-all. Be humble.

Based on that, here’s a new and improved role you can play: drop the pride, take on humility, and reach out to the ones you disagree with. That’s bound to get people talking!

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Let Love Lead

Posted by Melissa

Your family is probably perfect. I’m sure no one ever fights. There’s never any tension. I’ll bet you’re a “Brady Bunch” look-alike, right?

I didn’t think so. None of us look like that. All families are flawed—even Christian families. But what makes a healthy family is that Jesus is the foundation, the love is unconditional, and the forgiveness flows freely.

Read Romans 12:9-12, and zone in on verse 10.

What do these verses teach you about how Christians should treat other believers and non-Christians?

What does it mean to “show family affection” to others?

How can you outdo someone in showing honor?

How often do you display genuine love to those you know? Explain.

What does it mean to be fervent in the spirit? Are you?

How have you rejoiced in hope? Been patient in affliction? Been persistent in prayer?

What did God teach you through those times?

There wasn’t a specific rhyme or reason to Paul’s list of love in Romans 12. But one thing is for sure—he started by making a bold statement. I love how the New Living Translation phrases it: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” What he really means is: don’t be fake; instead, love others like you would your own family. It’s not as easy as it sounds, right? It is easier to avoid the unlovable and dismiss those you don’t like. But here’s what you need to understand: the love Paul talks about isn’t the kind you can produce on your own; rather, it’s the kind that can only come from Jesus and is funneled through you. Stop and ask God to give you that kind of love. Let it be your guide!

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