Dedicate Your Lives to God
1Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. 2Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
3Because of the kindness #12:3 Or “grace.” that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers. 4Our bodies have many parts, but these parts don’t all do the same thing. 5In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other. 6God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith. 7If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.
9Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.
14Bless those who persecute you. Bless them, and don’t curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. 16Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are.
17Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. 18As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. 19Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20But,
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.