Romans 12:1-2, 9-21 (The Message)
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping
you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating,
going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before
God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best
thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to
your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead,
fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside
out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond
to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to
its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops
well-formed maturity in you.
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake
it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t
quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians;
be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears
when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t
be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t
insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll
do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy
hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get
him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t
let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.