Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, October 16, 2023

Life In The Body part 16 – Romans, part 191

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil; give thought to what is good in the eyes of all people. 

Paul is continuing his detailed description of how we should live our lives in the body of Messiah.  It is quite a change from the ways of the world.  Here he says plainly, “Repay no one evil for evil.”  Before we go on, let’s stop right there.  If we’re not to repay evil for evil, then what’s left?  1 Peter 3, verse 9 uses these same words, but magnifies the thought…

1Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or insult for insult, but give a blessing instead—it is for this reason you were called, so that you might inherit a blessing.

Rabbi Trail: This reminds me of something… Years ago (in a previous RR… You can tell I’m getting senile because now I’m quoting myself.) I wrote about the “4 Way Test” of the Rotary Club.  I was a Rotary Club member for many years but never in Knoxville.  However, I was an invited to be guest speaker here once.  They wanted a rabbi to sing some Chanukah songs.  I was the last rabbi they invited and the only one to accept.  So I sang them a song, Maoz Tzur (Jewish Rock of Ages) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uAaqxVxz6A  (That’s not me in the video.)

I saw this text on one Rotary website and I’m reprinting it here for you…

“The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:

Of the things we think, say or do

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?” End RT.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to come to grips with repaying an evil insult with a blessing.  It is certainly not my first (fleshly) response.  Paul gives us more instruction on how to conduct our thought life by offering his own eight way test.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.  

There we go… let’s live by God’s righteous principles.  They are found in the Scriptures.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 16-Oct-2023 1st of Cheshvan, 5784
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan (Day 2)
Ge 7:1-16, Nu 28:11-15 Jos 9 Ps 9 Mt 7 (1 Pet 3)