The first step to problem solving is to define the terms. What is actually being asked?
To practically live out what’s being asked of believers in Romans 12:9, several terms need to be defined (which will be done in the Notes section). I’ve often found that our human definitions are shaped by our own experiences; while there is room for this practice, being fully obedient to God’s Word frequently calls us outside of our personal explanation and into His Truth, which is untainted by the human experience.
This command, like the one prior (“love without hypocrisy”), is straightforward: Do X; do Y = please the Lord. It is also in the same verse (Rom. 12:9) as the prior command. What does sincere love have to do with what you passionately dislike and what you hold tightly? I can’t wait to explore the connections together, as these two weeks crank up, and we continue to transform into the likeness of Christ.
Use the comments section and Notes section to share your thoughts and discoveries. Use these questions to guide your searching and studying:
1. Define these terms according to their biblical definitions (hate, evil, cling, good).
2. How does these commands relate to loving sincerely? How am I supposed to hate something and love sincerely?!
3. What have I deemed “okay” or “acceptable” that God says is evil?
4. Does my definition of “good” conflict with what God says is good (Ps. 84:11)? Do I need to expand my acceptance of God’s version of good?
5. What can I do each day to appropriately turn away from what displeases God and hold tightly to His best?