Week 34~ Romans 12:16
‘Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.‘
Living in harmony with one another is clearly our ideal- or is it?
There are a great many people who do not appear to really want peace and harmony in their homes. We witness them constantly arguing with their partners, friends or shouting at their children. We also see this depicted in countless soap operas and for those who remain glued to their TV sets, sadly, they may believe this to be normal.
A lack of harmony is equally likely to stem from a lack of communication, especially if one or both partners are working long hours spending little time with each other or being too tired to enjoy one another’s company. Working long hours also includes time dedicated to housework and childcare!
To be harmonious you usually have to be on the same wavelength as the other person, which makes the suggestion of associating with people from another class very interesting/challenging. Obviously in some jobs we are called upon to interact with all types of people, however socially we choose our friends who in general reflect our own lifestyle.
The text above refers specifically to people who are lower than us on the social ladder but sometimes it is equally difficult relating to people who are in a higher income bracket, especially as their social skills tend to reflect their status.
Sometimes it is very difficult to relate to others. Earlier this year I was out with friends when a young woman followed us into the bar and then proceeded to try and make conversation. Her efforts were very clumsy, in fact she had a ‘text book’ approach. It was a difficult situation, however we spoke with her for a while and eventually she attached herself to someone else, ending up following them when they left! It was obvious from the outset that this woman was mentally ill, especially as she kept informing us that there was nothing wrong with her; but at least we didn’t alienate her.
The best approach in these situations is usually the humble approach, taking time to listen to people, ask questions and see whether we can be of assistance in any way. Pride can definitely prevent us from reaching out or socialising with people whom we might be able to help. In fact pride and a lack of understanding are the two main barriers that we need to overcome if we are going to follow the command given here in Romans.
Next time you feel uncomfortable about another person for the wrong reason, think about this verse and do your best to overcome natural inhibitions and rise to the occasion!
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