Romans 16:17: Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
This no-nonsense advice eloquently demonstrates the second aspect of Paul’s horizontal love: it is protective. The connection is clear: When you really love people as much as Paul loved the Romans, you protect them. This is a great example for all of us. We need to love in such a way that we really put it on the line for others and speak the truth in love. Paul’s heart is loving, protective, and, furthermore, contagious. 1
- How does God use your words to build up others spiritually? Read James 3:1-12
- Be wise on how you spend your time. Be known as a team builder. Make decisions that impart grace to the hearers. Make decisions that cause you to walk away from those who intentionally and purposely want to destroy the things that God wants to build.
Lord, teach me to be a team player in Your Kingdom.
1. Hughes, R. K. (1991). Romans: righteousness from heaven. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.