After some quite heavy theological passages, Romans 12 is an easy to read, but less easy to put into action, kind of passage. This time I would like to do something different. Seeing as this chapter is pretty much a list of suggestions on how to live as a living sacrifice to God, I am going to put the scripture here, and let you read it for yourself. Before I do that, I do want to point out a few things.
In verse 2, it says that God’s will for us is good, pleasing and perfect. Bad stuff does not come from God, nor is it His will for us. He may use it for our good (Romans 8:28), but illness, suffering, and the like is not God’s will for us. I’ll leave it at that. The other point is in verse 6. We all have spiritual gifts, but it says that we have different gifts for doing things well. I would like to say that just because we have certain gifts for doing things well, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use the other gifts that we may not be able to do so well. Let me give you an example. If I have the gift of prophesy, I must speak out and prophesy with as much faith as God has given me. If someone comes to me for healing, but I don’t have that gift, what should I do? Well, if you’re with someone who has that gift, then ask them to join you. If you’re by yourself, there is no reason why you can’t command healing. Let me put it this way, just because you haven’t recognised a gift in you, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it at all. You may just not be as good as others. I believe that God can manifest any gift in any of us. If He calls you to do something, don’t use the ‘I don’t have that gift’ excuse.
Anyhow, here is most of the chapter for you. This passage is pretty much like an instruction manual from God. Read it, meditate on it, and then put it into action.
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.
Easier read than done, but well worth doing