Recently I heard a radio preacher say that expressing tension, frustration and even anger with others is easy; it’s what we humans do. But, loving others…behaving in lovely ways…that, he said was downright hard.
I shouted out a hearty “Amen!” Loving others is downright hard. Not because we don’t want to love, but because it doesn’t come naturally to us even though we crave love more than anything else. In fact we are so desperate for love, we do unthinkable things in attempts to get love or replace it when we believe it is out of our reach.
But, praise God, He has provided a way for us to love and be loved through His Son, Jesus the Christ! Through His sacrifice we have the ability to love, through His life we have the example to follow and through His Word we know how to love.
The next 26 Sundays will take us on a journey through the A, B, Cs of loving one another scattered throughout the Bible. Thanks for coming along.
Associate with the lowly. Romans 12:16
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.
The Greek word for lowly here is tapeinos (G5011). It means “not rising far from the ground.” It also denotes “a condition of low degree or brought low with grief, depressed or lowly in spirit or humble.” Its negative connotation can be “deporting one’s self abjectly, deferring servilely to others.”
It is not referring to a lower class or political status. Nor does it have anything to do with gender, color, racial ethnicity, etc…
Anyone can be lowly; from the richest person in their penthouse to the poorest soul etching out a life on the tundra, yellow, black or white or purple. The meaning here is all about the soul. What is going on inside our fellow one anothers.
A lowly person can be a humble person (opposite of haughty.) Or the lowly person can be in a state of grief, depression or sadness. Or, sadly, the lowly person can be in a state of abjection.
We don’t have too much trouble in hanging out (Associate) with humble people. In today’s world folks who are truly humble are refreshing to be around. But often pride mixed with fear keeps us from being a friend to the low in spirit. They bring us down, use up a lot of our time and sap our energy. Their presence compels us to leave our comfortable place and take risks.
Hmm…that sounds a lot like what Jesus did every day of His life on earth and what He still does living in each one of His followers today. Are we not lowly compared to Him? Yet He daily Associates with us willingly and lovingly. We are the losers when we only Associate with people who seem to have it all together like us. Wait, that sounds a bit haughty, don’t you think?