Paul says in Romans that we should 'Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone'. (Romans 12:17. NIV). However, I would certainly not characterize Paul as being 'politically correct' by any stretch of the imagination. It made me wonder they sound like the same thing, so how is doing 'what is right in the eyes of everyone' so different from being 'politically correct'?

  • Or I wonder about in Judges, when "everyone did that which is right his own eyes" Aug 7, 2013 at 10:18
  • Affable, my quick reading of that passage seems to indicate that it is stated as a fact and not necessarily as a judgement on whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. This would make for an interesting question though.
    – brader24
    Aug 7, 2013 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


I think this is a translation issue (so possibly better at BH SE).

Look at the Amplified Translation of Romans 12:17:

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.

See also, eg, KJV and New Living versions of this verse.

The NIV calls this section (v9-21), "Love in action" which I think summarises Paul's thoughts here well. Therefore this is about acting properly toward everyone - not taking on their morality but rather upholding God's standards before everyone.

  • 1
    Thanks for the thoughts but I find I can't really agree on this. The main reason is that is seems to read 'do what is honorable in the sight of all....If possible, so far as it depends on you' the condition of 'if possible' seems to imply not what is strictly right but what is right in the view of other people.
    – Mike
    Aug 7, 2013 at 10:30
  • @Mike: ah, I see what you mean. I will consider if I can rework this. Aug 7, 2013 at 10:40
  • The, "if possible" is the start of a different sentence, and in the NAB translation that I'm looking at, says "If possible, on your part, live at peace with all." But this is just saying, to do what you can to keep the peace, but not at the cost of denying what is evil. Previously in verse 9, "Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good..." This isn't the same as what we now call politically correct where you can't say or do anything that might be offensive. That is why it says, "if possible" because teaching the truth is necessary and often divisive.
    – brader24
    Aug 7, 2013 at 10:54

This whole chapter seems to be talking about the opposite of political correctness. In verse 2:

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

In verse 9:

Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good;

In verse 14:

Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them.

Verse 16-19:

Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

All of this, and probably more, taken together, talks about being sincere in what is good and evil, but treating others with compassion, love, and dignity when regarding them. The "if possible" verse, has to do with how you treat others. If you regard someone who has done evil in a haughty, better than you, disrespectful way, then you are guilty of not doing all that is possible to live at peace with that person.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .