Jul 282020

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites . . . I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil. (Romans 16:17–18a, 19b)

Paul closes his letter to his friends in Rome with one final plea for unity. He calls them to avoid unnecessary dissention, to refrain from unnecessary offense, and to keep a watchful eye out for those who seek to satisfy themselves at the expense of the community. But at the root of Paul’s call is wisdom; he summons his friends to know the difference between the ways of God and the appetites of people. According to Paul, God’s desire is for unity in the community, but it will take a wise and discerning mind to live together as one. May such wisdom come to us, not only in our community of faith, but in our county and country as well. – rc

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