In Romans 12:9-21, Paul speaks in practical terms. This gives shoe-leather to our Christianity. He offers 25 pieces of advice. There are really only two overarching thoughts in these core values—practice love and defeat evil. These will not only impact us personally, they will positively make a difference in the lives of others as you practice them.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Notice these 25 pieces of advice, the best you will ever receive:
I. Choose to Love, and It Will Affect Your Feelings Every Time
“Let love be without hypocrisy” (Romans 12:9a)
Love is something you choose and something you do that when continually practiced positively affects your emotions. You do this with a pure motive.
II. Hate…Yes! Hate Evil
“Abhor what is evil;” (Romans 12:9b)
Evil is active opposition to good. “Hate” means to turn from it, avoid it. Express your hatred for that which is against God.
III. Glue Yourself to What Is Good
“Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9c)
Super glue yourself to that which God calls good, and never let it go.
IV. Show Tenderness
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10a)
Be a little kinder and gentler than is necessary. Refuse to be harsh, rude, hateful, or untactful. Be considerate and generous.
V. Put Others Before Yourself
“Give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10b)
Respect others. Take the initiative to encourage, affirm, and bless others. Take the initiative to honor others.
VI. Don’t Be Lazy
“No lagging behind in diligence” (Romans 12:11a)
“Lag” means to delay or hesitate. Be diligent. Stop procrastinating. Live intentionally. Work hard for God.
VII. Get Enthusiastic
“fervent in spirit” (Romans 12:11b)
“Fervent” means boiling up. Live wide open for God. Focus on what you are for, not what you are against. Be passionate about your faith.
VIII. Obey God As a Way of Life
“Serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11c)
Live to obey God and serve Him. Never learn to say “No” to Him.
IX. Be Excited about the Future
“Rejoicing in hope” (Romans 12:12a)
Find your joy in the fact that God is still in control. The best is yet to come.
X. Hang in There
“Persevering in tribulation…” (Romans 12:12b)
Hold on. Don’t be a quitter. Never give up. Trust God to see you through it.
XI. Spend Daily Knee Time
“Devoted to prayer.” (Romans 12:12c)
Steadfastly continue in prayer. Drop to your knees and communicate with God, submitting to His authority.
XII. Be Generous
“Contributing to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13a)
Be a giver, not a taker. Don’t be stingy. Don’t be a miser. Misers are miserable and givers are glad.
XIII. Show Hospitality
“Contributing to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13a)
Be kind to people and find ways to practically help them.
XIV. Speak Well of Those Who Don’t Speak Well of You
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not” (Romans 12:14)
At a press conference once when Billy Graham was being criticized, he stopped and prayed, “Lord pleases don’t let us ever be guilty of what our critics are saying.” Refuse to go negative on someone who is negative about you.
XV. Congratulate Those Who Do Well
“Rejoice with those that rejoice” (Romans 12:15a)
Compliment people. Be the first to congratulate them. Refuse to be jealous.
XVI. Be There for People When They Are Hurting
“weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15b)
Show compassion. Be there for people. Cry with them, and don’t resort to spiritual-sounding platitudes.
XVII. Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
“Be of the same mind toward one another” (Romans 12:16a)
Seek to understand what that person is going through. Be sensitive.
XVIII. Don’t Be a Snob
“Do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly” (Romans 12:16b)
Treat everyone the same. Welcome people into your world. Refuse to be cliquish.
XIX. Don’t Be a Smart Alec
“Do not be wise in your own estimation”
Refuse to brag. Don’t try to impress people with who you are, what you have or who you know. Be humble!
XX. Refuse to Attack Back
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone” (Romans 12:17a)
Don’t try to destroy someone for hurting you. Release it to God, and trust Him to deal with that person.
XXI. Consistently Do the Right Thing
“Respect what is right in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17b)
Be a person of honor and integrity. Have character. Live consistently a Christ-like life.
XXII. Try Your Absolute Best to Get Along With People
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18)
Initiate peace. Don’t be intentionally difficult. Give it all you’ve got to get along with people without compromising your own convictions.
XXIII. Trust God to Defend You
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19)
If you are right with God, He will defend you in ways that neither you nor anyone else could. Trust God’s timing. Truth and time are on your side.
XXIV. Look for Opportunities to Do Something Nice for Your Enemies
“but if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head” (Romans 12:20).
Pray for your enemies and do something tangible to demonstrate the love of God to them. Praying for him or her will give you the desire to love him/her.
XXV. Proactively Change Your World
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21)
Answer evil by sharing the gospel, by doing what is right, by taking a stand on biblical truth and demonstrating God’s love.