Today’s Passage: Romans 12
Hands up if you had to memorize Romans 12:1-2 for Vacation Bible School.
These days I’m experiencing the renewing of my mind, and it is fantastic. To be honest, my mind can be an absolute sludge pit of toxic thought patterns, a contradictory mix of pride and self-flagellation, an obsessive preoccupation with what others think of me–but God is renewing my mind these days. It is nothing short of refreshing when he cleans out the gunk. I can think! I can focus!
I noticed that both verse 9 and verse 21 set up a contrast between evil and good. When I looked up the original Greek, though, I found that while Paul uses the same word for “good,” (“ἀγαθὸν,” from which we get the name “Agatha”), he uses two different words for “evil.” Verse 21 uses “κακόν” (kakon), probably the simplest Greek word for “bad” that there is. Romans 12:21 is simply “Don’t be conquered by bad, but conquer bad with good!”
But verse 9 uses “πονηρός” (poneros) for “evil,” which has as its root the word “πόνος” (ponos), meaning toil or pain. “πονηρός” refers to evil or wickedness, but it underscores the fact that in the long game, evil is painful, troublesome, the spiritual equivalent of lifting with your back instead of your legs. Doing evil wears on you. Like a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, evil can gum up your mind, to the point where it needs renewing. Which brings us full-circle to Romans 12:1-2.
For today’s chocolate, I’ve returned to Equal Exchange’s Panama Extra Dark Chocolate, and it is delicious. I also poured myself some milk in my Bad Decision Dinosaur shot glass. Let’s take a closer look at that little guy: