“Provide Things Honest in the Sight of All Men.”
~ Romans 12:17 ~
Our Father instructs us not to recompense evil for evil in the preceding proposition. Yet, now He instructs us what to “provide…in the sight of all men.” The simple thought that we are to “provide” something other than “evil” for the “evil” done to us is itself staggering. Why not rather just leave the matter alone?
Justice would demand an equivalent for the evil done unto us, thus just provision would necessitate “evil for evil”; however, our Father has instructed us as His sons and daughters to not recompense evil for evil, but He does not stop there. Rather of recompensing that which is just we “provide” what the situation and person does not deserve.
It is at this point in which “grace” is unveiled to a new powerful extent. Truly, “grace upon grace”. Up until this point in our edification in the foundation of Romans we have learned God is gracious, it is by God’s grace that His “provision” has been made in Christ, as well as, how this grace is toward me with its almost unfathomable benefits; yet, it is at this point in our edification in the foundation of Romans that we are instructed to be like God, to have a heart after His, and thus be gracious!
When we recompense not evil for evil and in turn “provide” the opposite of evil we are proving His will in being graciously meek – an attitude, conduct so consistent with “gospel of the grace of God” that we proclaim, preach, and declare.
We are to “provide things honest in the sight of all men”. 1) We “provide”; thus, we consider in advance the possible evil experienced and respond contrary to it, that is, not with evil. 2) In thinking in advance upon advancement of evil toward us we are to provide things “honest” toward those that work evil toward us.
The “honest things” is not the honest justice upon that which another deserves, but that which is decent, honorable, and suitable. The primary definition of “honest” does not fit the context in which we are in; however, in view of what we have learned and believed we are to walk toward evil done to us as God walked toward evil – our evil done to Him. We take the package of God’s love that we have learned and now apply and prove it in situations and to persons in which it is undeserved. Therefore, when evil is done to us we will not repay with evil, but provide selfless, kind, tenderhearted love for the sake of the one committing the evil, in hospitality to provide for their spiritual and physical needs.
Godly charity doth not behave itself unseemly, suffers longs, is not easily provoked, and beareth all things. In truth, God’s love abounds in us and through us, it is “grace upon grace”.
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher