What does it look like to live as though we belong to other members of the body of Christ?
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with each other. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." (Romans 12:14-16)
We're supposed to do life together. To really be involved in the good and the bad of each other's lives.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Scripture makes it pretty clear that we will face persecution as Christians. The challenge comes in how we're to respond to those who persecute us. Most of the time it would be easiest and most natural to respond in kind, but we're supposed to have a different response.
We're supposed to bless them, to look for ways to do good for them, to pray for them. History is full of stories of the impact people had when they chose to bless those who persecuted them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
This one is often easiest for us. We find it more natural to celebrate with people when they have reason to celebrate. It's fun, so we join in. We do this part of life with people.
There are times when we may find it difficult to rejoice with those who rejoice - for a variety of reasons. But, even in those times, we can choose to rejoice with them.
Mourn with those who mourn.
This one is often more difficult, because we want to fix the problem or the pain for those we love and care about. We want to come in with the answer, to solution. But, part of doing life together is coming alongside each other in our mourning and just being with them. it might be one of the hardest things to do, but the person we "just be" with, it can be the best thing anyone can do for them.
Live in harmony with one another.
Living in harmony with one another doesn't mean we just stuff our feelings and pretend everything is good when it isn't. It means that we calmly and lovingly deal with things right away when they come up. That we deal with conflict properly. That we resolve issues with each other.
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Pride and conceit get us into trouble in relationships with people. They cause us to think of ourselves as better than others and then we have people we don't want to associate with. When we get caught up in pride, we cut ourselves off from true community with other believers. In the family of God, we should be treating each other the same whatever position they may have.