N.B. Reflection on Romans 12 v 1-21. What an amazing book. (Yes, I say that about all of Paul's letters.) But this is what I strive for, this is how I want to live. And sure, I'm never going to get there, because I have sinned, and I fall short of God's glory, by a long shot. But I am justified freely through the redemption that comes through faith in Christ Jesus, thanks be to God.
"I'm taking my everyday, ordinary life — my sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and placing it before God as an offering. I'm not going to become so well-adjusted to my culture that I fit into it without even thinking. Instead, I'm fixing my attention on God. I'll be changed from the inside out. I'll try to readily recognize what He wants from me, and quickly respond to it.
Living in pure grace, I'm know I'm not bringing this goodness to God. God brings it all to me. The only accurate way to understand life is by what God is and by what He does for me, not by what I am and what I do for him.
I'm trying to be what I was made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing myself to someone else, or by being something I'm not. I'm not the whole picture, my life is part of God's infinite plan. When I preach, I will preach God's message, nothing else. When I help, I will help with a servant heart. When I work with the disadvantaged, I won't let myself get irritated or depressed by them. I will keep a smile on my face. I will love from the center of who I am, I won't fake it.
I will run from evil, and cling dear to good. I will be a good friend who loves dearly, and put others before myself. I'll keep myself fueled and aflame so I won't burn out. I'll be an alert servant of the Master, cheerfully expectant. I won't quit in hard times, but will pray all the harder.
I will help needy Christians, and practise hospitality, feeding those I meet who are hungry, and giving a drink to those who thirst. I'll bless my enemies, and give up cursing under my breath. I'll share laughter with my friends when they are happy, and tears when they are down. I will try and get along with everyone, and make friends with the nobodies without making myself a big somebody. I'll learn not to hit back, but instead discover beauty in everyone. I'll let God do the judging, and just try to get along with people. I'll try not to let evil get the best of me, but overcome that evil with good works. By the grace of the Lord God, through whom all things are held together."