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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

Developing children benefit from encouragement in a big way. Thoughtless
grown-ups can destroy a young child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the
time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up
somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing,
then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to
be honest though because leaving people with a false impression of
themselves is all the same as treachery, and sets them up for
disappointment.

"Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet." (Prov 29:5)
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The
small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed
by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the
wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark
12:41-44)

I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin
themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

“Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's
pockets.” (Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens)

Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an
extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think
quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:8c . . If God has given you leadership ability, take the
responsibility seriously.

A natural aptitude for church management doesn't count. It has to be God
given; that is: a legitimate Spirit-endowed ability. (cf. Rom 12:3-8, 1Cor
12:4-11, 1Cor 12:27-30)

There are far too many people sitting on church boards merely because
they're a success in business. Well; if your church is a commercial
enterprise; then maybe you should think about finding another one.

God-given leadership ability is spoken of as a "responsibility". In other
words; it should never be taken as an achievement. I just hate it when City,
State, and Federal government officials celebrate their positions as
something they "won".

"The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: He that ruleth over
men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." (2Sam 23:3)

Too many of the men and women in power do not rule in the fear of God;
rather, they rule in the fear of politics; and rather than morally upright with
their fellow man's best interests at heart, they are often Machiavellian
instead.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:8d . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it
gladly.

This particular gift relates to sympathy and compassion; which are emotions,
i.e. feelings.

Well; the problem is: we have very little, if any, control over those kinds of
feelings; and I think we too often resent people for touching our soft spot
and tugging at our heart strings, a.k.a. pushing our buttons.

The ability to show kindness is referred to as a gift. I think most folks, given
the option, would prefer the gift of tongues over the gift of kindness because
the one is merely a skill whereas the other makes us sensitive to need;
which at times can be both uncomfortable and inconvenient.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no
pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" (1John 3:17)
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

The Greek word translated "love" is derived from agape (ag-ah'-pay) which
primarily refers to benevolence rather than affection.

Benevolence is defined as acts of kindness and/or generous gifts.

Pretense is defined as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation.

Anyway, talk is cheap and, like it's said: Put your money where your mouth
is, i.e. if you sincerely believe that benevolence is a Christian virtue, then practice
it for real rather than merely giving others the impression that you do.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:9b . . Hate what is evil.

Hating evil is second nature to God-fearing people; or at least it should be.

"You who love The Lord: hate evil." (Ps 97:10)

"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was
blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." (Job 1:1)

"The fear of The Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way,
and the perverted mouth, I hate." (Prov 8:13)

I think it's fair to say that when somebody hates the same things that God
hates, and loves the same things that God loves; the two of them have the
makings of a rapport: defined by Webster's as a friendly, harmonious
relationship-- especially a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual
understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible and/or easy.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:9c . . Cling to what is good.

The Greek word translated "cling" speaks of adherence; and it's pretty much
the same meaning as the Hebrew word in Gen 2:24 relative to a man and
his wife.

The word is appropriate in a variety of applications, e.g. join, keep company,
team up, depend upon, stick to, stick with, bond, unify, become one with,
band together, follow, etc.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

The Greek word translated "love" is derived from philadelphia (fil-ad-el-fee'
ah) which refers to fraternal feelings; it goes beyond things like courtesy,
kindness, consideration, and charity, etc. Those things exhibit civility,
which is a non affectionate love; in other words: being nice to people
without necessarily liking them.

Rom 12:10a is not an easy command to obey because it requires the
emotions of fondness and affection; loyalty included, i.e. actually liking your
fellow Christians as opposed to only being nice to them.

Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through
the motions is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

There are people in this world who, by nature, are affection-challenged.
They can't even feel anything for their own children, let alone other people.
For them, parenting is a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Their
children are a burden rather than a blessing. Children ruin those parents'
lives instead of brightening them up and making their lives more worth the
living.

However, affection-challenged people aren't damaged beyond repair because
Christianity isn't entirely a do-it-yourself religion; it's also a supernatural
religion; viz; part of the plan of salvation is regeneration.

"If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who
raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through
His spirit, who lives in you." (Rom 8:11)

"Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed
day by day." (2Cor 4:16)

A heads up to affection-challenged people: Love is inconvenient. It will make
you a better human being, but it will also make you pretty uncomfortable at
times too because love gets into your gut and makes you emotional,
sensitive, compassionate, and sympathetic.
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

Christians infected with narcissistic personality disorder will find that rule
difficult, if not impossible, to obey. It's a mental condition characterized by a
grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration,
exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.

Narcissistic people are by nature insufferably arrogant, self-absorbed,
indifferent, and insensitive. They see nothing wrong with their behavior, nor
are they attuned to its impact on others. Were you to confront narcissistic
folk with your concerns about their attitude; be prepared for a counterattack
because they'll no doubt become indignant and defensive; possibly accusing
you of selfishness, jealousy, overreaction, hysteria, and unloving behavior.
You see; they're never the problem: you are.

As I was watching a recent series on the National Geographic channel about
geniuses; it became readily apparent to me that people in the genius
category crave recognition. Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are two very
good examples. Their contributions to art and science were secondary to
their ambitions for greatness. I wouldn't say that all geniuses are like that of
course, but apparently the desire for greatness is not uncommon among the
gifted genre.

I should think that most alpha achievers would have trouble complying Rom
12:10b too. I mean. why be a winner if not to feel superior to everyone
else? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to succeed: everyone
else must fail.

Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the
alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye,
those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen.
(cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John 1:9)
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Webers.Home

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Rom 12:11a . . Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit

The Greek word for "slothful" is okneros (ok-nay-ros') which, according to its
use in Matt 25:26-27, indicates failure to honor one's fiduciary
responsibilities.

In other words: when people have put their trust in you, in whatever
capacity or circumstance: do not disappoint them, nor (God forbid) make
lame excuses for failing to deliver on your commitments.

"fervent in spirit" sort of means on fire-- i.e. stubborn determination --which
is just the opposite of half-hearted, lukewarm, and/or procrastinating.
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