Rom 12:14-16  “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

As a general rule, we do not much care for persecution. We complain about the unfairness of it. It is something that we want those around us to recognize and commiserate with us. Our natural inclination is to want others to see that a person, or group of people, is being mean and treating us unjustly.

The scripture requires that we behave in just the opposite manner. It is such a vital principle that Paul commands it twice in the same statement. We are to bless them which persecute us. The word translated here as bless simply means to speak well of them.

We are told not to give in to our carnal nature. To curse not means that we do not wish to see evil visited upon those who have wronged us or are persecuting us. We often hear (and perhaps use) the expression “What goes around comes around.” In essence, we are saying (wishing) that we look forward to seeing those who have mistreated us recompensed in kind: we curse them.

When we read this admonishment, our minds should immediately go to Jesus. If ever a man was unjustly persecuted, it was Him. Yet, even as He hung on the cross, He prayed that His father would forgive His persecutors (which includes us). To bless them that persecute us and refuse to curse them it to keep Jesus’ command to love one another as He has loved us.

Remember that Paul taught us in the fifth verse that we are His body and members one of another. When we are living this to its fullest, it is easy to rejoice with them that rejoice. Being members of one another, their reason to rejoice is also our reason to rejoice. When one of our members (or churches) is prospering in the Lord, then we are all partakers in that together.

If we are truly living in Christ, then we do not get to just share rejoicing. When any member of the body weeps we all weep, because we are members of one another. It does not matter whether we know them all on a personal level or not. We know Jesus and He knows every member of His body intimately.

The scripture tells us that we have the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16). This is how we are able to be of the same mind toward each other. It is also how we are able to not mind (give consideration) to high things. This is not in reference to the things of God, but rather to Paul’s admonishment in the beginning of this chapter for us to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Instead of giving consideration to men who occupy a high estate in the world, we are to condescend (take off together – see Strong’s) with men who are humble. In other words, instead of aligning ourselves with men who seem to have preeminence in this world, we are to seek those who are humble before the Lord. We should never be conceited (self-important). Rather we should walk diligently in the service of our Lord.

May we always yield ourselves to the mind of Christ and not to the reasoning of the world!

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