As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Romans 16:17-20 (NRSV)
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil. The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
What good advice from Paul in this era of “fake news.” First he tells us not to engage with people who are always causing trouble and division. Most of us have gotten in conversations with the kind of people whose thinking seems to be more based on judging others or showing our differences than how we can all come together through the love of God. They may try to sugarcoat this message with smooth words that promote themselves as godly Christians. But Paul tells us to be wise, to reject this fake doctrine of dissension, and to remember the loving example of Christ. He urges us to stand firm and strong in this example of love. If our minds are occupied with these “fake beliefs” of what being a Christian is, we are not concentrating on the path that God has set for us. So today, let’s take Paul’s advice and not be influenced or distracted by these types of people, but be strong and determined in our beliefs of love and inclusiveness.
Dear Lord, help me not to be influenced by other people and their idea of what my relationship with you should be. Help me to be real and loving. Amen.
Go with God.
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