Stay Grounded

by Samantha Tidball

Spend some time reading Romans 12:9-21 as a reminder of how we are called to live as Christians.

Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. 17 Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.

18 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. 19 Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord. 20 Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head. 21 Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.


The topic of hell raises many questions: Is it a literal place or a state of mind? Are we creating our own hell on earth? Is hell a place of fire and pain, or is it eternal darkness and emptiness? Will people who don’t know Jesus go to hell?

It’s perfectly OK not to have all the answers. God can handle our questions and our emotions. We are invited to wrestle through these difficult concepts as we strive to make sense of our faith, the Bible, our culture, and our experiences.

It’s also OK to question, to wonder, and to doubt. However, sometimes we get so caught up and overwhelmed by the unknowns of the afterlife that we lose focus, forgetting what Jesus spent most of his time teaching—how to live our lives for God’s glory while on earth! So wonder and question about the afterlife, but don’t forget to stay grounded here on earth. Let’s not get so caught up in what happens after we die that we forget to live on earth now by loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).

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