9 Make sure that the love you show is not in any way fake or hypocritical. Abhor what is evil as you cling to what is good. 10 Practice deep sacrificial love among yourselves -- the genuine kind of love you might expect to see in a healthy family. Instead of competing with one another over who is more important, excel at respecting one another.
11 And when it comes to serving the Lord don’t throttle your spiritual enthusiasm! Pour yourself into the service of Christ. 12 As you anticipate what he is bringing about, be glad. And when you encounter trouble, hold steady and stay the course. Keep on praying. 13 Give yourself to caring for God’s needy people. Welcome strangers into your home -- and your life. 14 As Jesus said in his famous sermon in Matthew 5, pour blessings on the very people who harass you. You heard right -- instead of bad-mouthing the bad guys, overpower them with words of blessing. 15 Be empathetic -- rejoicing with those who are doing well, and crying with those who are overwhelmed by their circumstances. 16 Treat everyone as an equal. Don’t even harbor secret thoughts of superiority. Instead, freely associate with people who have no status. And don’t over-estimate the value of your understanding -- as though you’re smarter than the rest. 17 Skip pay-back time. Even if people are totally evil don’t respond by giving them a taste of their own medicine. Rather, become the poster children for honor by showing respect even for those who are unworthy of it.
18 If you’ve got peace in you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Again, dear friends, don’t insist on getting even. Let God handle whatever revenge he deems appropriate. As the Lord says in Deuteronomy 32:35, “Revenge is mine and only mine. I’ll give people what they’re due.” 20 Instead of pursuing revenge yourself, do the radical thing outlined in Proverbs 25:21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. Your generosity will eventually disturb him so much that he’ll either become a friend or turn and run as a dog with his tail between his legs.” 21 In other words, don’t allow evil to clobber you but use good to clobber evil.