Your Voice: ‘Well done’ follows a saint’s life ‘done well’

Christianity involves a vertical relationship with God and a horizontal relationship with people, writes Morris Murray Jr.
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Your Voice: ‘Well done’ follows a saint’s life ‘done well’

Christianity involves a vertical relationship with God and a horizontal relationship with people.

Romans 12:9–21 sets forth six principles for the latter:

  1. Answer persecution with prayer.

“Bless them who persecute you; bless and curse not” (v. 14).

It is the Christian’s awareness of the unreasonableness of persecution (whatever form it may take) that is liable to provoke resentment and retaliation. Scripture calls otherwise. The pattern of God’s own lovingkindness and beneficence in Jesus is the ethical norm for Christlike behavior.

  1. Appropriately respond to every circumstance.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep”
(v. 15).

Weeping with others (in various crises) may be an easier response than rejoicing with others, due to pride, envy or jealousy. But if the Holy Spirit is directing our hearts and minds, then to share in the joy which others experience must be jointly-appreciated as fellow members of the body of Christ.

  1. Avoid pride and snobbishness.

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation”
(v. 16).

There is no room in the Christian community for vain ambition and grasping for honor and position. Harmony, mutual respect, common hopes, desires, concerns and kindness for one another is the norm. Aristocracy, cliques and pedestals of unapproachable dignity must be aborted. To be meek and lowly in heart is what Jesus manifested and also mandates.

  1. Abdicate your right to revenge.

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone … never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord” (v. 17, 19).

Satan and the forces of darkness are champions of evil. Christians must be on guard against thoughtlessness, spitefulness, jealousy, revenge and inappropriate anger. Vengeance is a divine prerogative, and if we seek to avenge ourselves, the likelihood that we will wind up being soured by it is high.

  1. Actively work for peace.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men”
(v. 18).

This does not mean that Christians are not to take a stand and have no convictions. Plus, this principle is couched in the context of two conditions: (a) “if possible” — it may not always be possible. Sometimes some form of battle must be fought. And when efforts to do so are not possible, those efforts must be qualified by (b) “so far as it depends on you” — the failure to achieve peace must not be traceable to our own lack of efforts. These two conditions serve as realistic ‘guidelines’ in seeking to fulfill the biblical mandate for actively working for peace.”

  1. “Always return good for evil.”

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; and if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (v. 20–21).

This is not impractical, platonic idealism. It is the most practical way to overcome evil. Kind replies can conquer bitter criticism (Prov. 15:1). By meeting his ‘evil’ with our ‘good,’ the enemy may experience a burning sense of shame which may be used by God to soften and lead that person to repentance. If we are bitter toward others, it may likely do us far more harm than it will them.


The principles involved in this synopsis of this section of Scripture are Spirit-inspired and must be adopted and activated by the saints of God. No “well done” will be heard by those who have not “done well” according to God’s prescription.

Morris Murray Jr.


Our God is a God of completion. He makes promises, and then He fulfills them. They may take longer than we’d like, and the journey may be harder than we expected, but we can rest assured that our God will always be found faithful.

Lysa TerKeurst
@LysaTerKeurst on X

The Power of the Resurrection is a call to come. Come, bring Him your chaos and disorder, your wilderness and your battles, bring Him all of your many deaths — dead words, dead deeds, dead thoughts and dead hearts.

Diane Langberg
@DianeLangberg on X

Thankfulness is not rooted in a life slam packed with abundant harvest. Thankfulness is rooted in celebrating where gospel seed has taken root along the rocky soil of my life.

Daniel Ritchie
@DanielRitchie on X

“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen and support you after you have suffered a little while.”

1 Peter 5:10

In case you missed these nuggets

Excerpts from the May 23 edition of The Baptist Paper:

As of last count, this year’s Southern Baptist Convention presidential election will feature six candidates:

David Allen

Allen leads the Adrian Rogers Center for Biblical Preaching at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. Allen previously served in various leadership roles at Southwestern Seminary.

Bruce Frank

Frank is pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina, and led the SBC’s initial Sexual Abuse Task Force.

Mike Keahbone

Keahbone is pastor of First Baptist Church Lawton, Oklahoma, and is vice chair of the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force.

Jared Moore

Moore is pastor of Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee, and served the SBC as second vice president in 2014.

Clint Pressley

Pressley is pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and served as first vice president of the SBC 2014–2015.

Dan Spencer

Spencer is pastor of FBC Sevierville, Tennessee. He preached during the 2001 SBC Pastors Conference and was a member of the SBC Committee on Committees in 2005.


To read more from the SBC presidential nominees, visit or call 800-803-5201 to request a copy of the print edition. The six listed above were the nominees known at press time.

“We know the biblical mandate for all believers is to go to the nations with the gospel, and going as a middle or high school student will lay a strong biblical foundation for our Alabama students,” said Ben Edfeldt, director of the SBOM office of collegiate and student ministries. The SBOM provides ready-made opportunities for students to serve together.

“I pray that you are persistent when the world says ‘just give up.’ I pray that you have passion when the world says ‘just get by.’ I pray you seek and follow God’s purpose when the world says ‘get in line,’” said Lonnie Burnett during his final address as University of Mobile president as he urged graduates to dream big, love what they do and pursue God’s purpose for their lives.

“I love that Unless U gives those with developmental disabilities a place to learn — and they learn a lot,” said Amy Kirby, special needs ministry director at Shades Mountain Baptist in Birmingham. “It gives adults a place to belong and a community of friends in a Christian setting where they can also grow in their faith. Our church values individuals with special needs, so supporting Unless U as a local missions partner with both financial and people resources is a natural outflow of what we believe.”

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ronnie Parrott
@ronniep on X

“It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” said James Hill, chair of UAB’s department of nutrition sciences. “Often people who have not had healthy habits can start by making a few small changes in how much they move and what they eat. This will often lead to more changes. No matter how old you are or how bad your lifestyle habits are, you can benefit from making better lifestyle choices.”

“That’s why we need U.S. churches,” said IMB missionary Zoey Kim, thanking Baptists for their support, giving and prayers. “Without you guys, it’s impossible to do all of this. Please think about going one step further and join us.”

“The ‘do-it-yourself’ rage is spreading everywhere, and people are being told that to be happy all they have to do is think ‘happy thoughts.’ Such thoughts might cheer us, but they will never change us.”

Billy Graham
@BillyGraham on X

“Make evangelism and discipleship a priority. When you see people saved and the waters stirred, a lot of problems that people are focused on go away,” said Danny Warbington, pastor of Mulberry Springs Baptist Church near Longview, Texas.

If you’re saved by Jesus, take comfort knowing that … no matter how bad this world gets, it’s as close to hell as you’ll ever be, because heaven is your home.

Shane Pruitt
@shane_pruitt78 on X

If you grow deeper in theology and become more callous, bitter, judgmental or just plain mean … something went wrong. The goal is not to showcase what you know, but to share with others how Christ can be known.

Dave Snyder
@davesnyder82 on X

EDITOR’S NOTE — Your Voice is the opinion section of The Alabama Baptist print newspaper. To submit a letter to the editor, click here.