Don’t worry if you see me running and screaming –

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake itRun for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.  Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.  Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.  Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.  Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality! Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.  Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.  Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.  Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody!Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.  If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody! Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do!  “I’ll do the judging,”  says God. “I’ll take care of it.”Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink!  Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good!(Romans 12:9-21)

I love how this translation makes the Word so understandable. The Message, is often a translation I do not frequently read, but every now and then the words I read hit me between the eyes, notice the bold sections. J

 

Like the simple words: Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Interesting how these words penetrate my very being. How many people do you know that ask you the simple question “How are you?” If you are anything like me, you smile and say, “I am good, how are you?” It is easier to say that we are good than to actually say to some one, “well, thanks for asking but things are really rough right now.” What would most people do if we were really honest with how we are truly doing with one another?  When you are asking someone how they are, are you really wanting their honest answer or are you just being what you think is polite?  

You see, in high school and college I was a cheerleader. I was taught to smile even if the team was loosing – I was encouraged to pretend like I enjoyed wearing very little clothing in the freezing weather as the Rams loose to BYU… There is nothing more discouraging than fake people, what kind of relationships can we have with those around us if we cannot answer the simple question, “how are you?” honestly. Are you brave enough to answer that simple question with honesty and are you willing to risk exposing a little more of yourself to someone who might reject you, think you are weird or just not care what your honest answer is?  

The next sentence causes passion to stir within my stomach: Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. I find it interesting that we are to run in the opposite direction of evil. We are not to walk around it hoping to get to the greener pastures on the other side of the fence, we are to turn around and run away. You know as if we are 5 years old and a man is offering us candy if we would get in his car, we were told to run away and scream then, are we not to have the same reaction with evil? That is with satan and all his people?   So fair warning if you see me running and screaming, you will now understand what I am running from. I find it hard to avoid all that surround us, you know, sometime satan does not make himself as creepy as that old man offering candy to children. He sometimes dresses up as an old high school flame who wants to take you to dinner and “just be friends” or he might look like the really appealing house that is far beyond your budget, but a little over time away from your family would make the payments. He might even look like a friendly lunch conversation with someone of the opposite sex in which over the next few months it might turn into something more…

Believe it or not, I have even seen him disguised as a really good pair of shoes or expensive purse that are just screaming, BUY ME WITH YOUR OVER THE LIMIT CREDIT CARD! I AM WORTH IT! I tell ya, he has many different looks, so don’t be surprised if you see me running out of the mall, or any restaurant or even away from an individual that might “look” harmless.  

I encourage you to join this rather crazy club and run – run far way from evil – I will be your running mate if you need one – but never the less just start running!  Besides, this is a form of exericise and we all know that standard New Year’s resolution is to work out more, so that is my free health advice.

 I hope these words penetrate your heart and stir passion within your soul as they have done for me – Have a blessed day!

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