To Bless or Not To Bless

Romans 12:14

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Nobody said that living the Christian life would be easy.  This verse is a case in point.

One of the more difficult things that believers will practice is doing good to those who do them evil.  To put this in perspective, remember that Paul wrote these words to 1st century Romans, most likely during the reign of Nero.  To say that Nero was unfriendly to Christians would be an enormous understatement.  He was known to burn them to light his gardens at night, throw them to the dogs, and crucify them.  This man was the chief persecutor of Christians at this time and therefore one whom the believers were supposed to “bless”.

The only way someone can do this is by the grace of God through the Spirit of God.  Paul had shown earlier in this epistle how God had justified them by faith alone and that they had been given the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  In essence, before Christ, they were no better than Nero.  It is a true testament of the work of the Spirit of God in one’s life when a person can seek good for a person who does them evil.  This is called walking “not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

May we have this same attitude as we deal with those who persecute us.