Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think...
- I'm currently reading 'Myth of a Christian Religion' by Greg Boyd. He has a lot to say about this, describing how much of modern Christendom reflects the image of decadent, self-centered, politically savvy, power-hungry, western culture more than Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:3,7 (NLT)
... 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....
- One of the most interesting and eye-opening articles I once read was entitled: "Have You Repented of Your Virtues?"
Author Michael Feazel was making the point that we all have a natural human tendency to give ourselves credit for our good traits, and then expect this makes us right with God. He basically points out that Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.
One question he asked stays with me: "What makes us think that we can become perfect in this life, and therefor no longer need God's forgiveness?"
This made me realize that our lives are about the journey - the process. God has the Goal securely in hand.
Romans 12:6 (NLT)
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.
- I like how faith is given by Paul as the key factor, and how it relates back to the verse I quoted above - about how we should measure ourselves by faith.
Paul encourages givers to give generously, but if we actually give so much that we begin to have doubts and grow uneasy about it, then perhaps that is because our giving is now exceeding our faith. Paul's instruction would indicate that rather than giving less we might instead address why our faith is so limited.
I think this principle applies to all these gifts he mentions.
The rest of this chapter contains many inspiring and challenging admonitions for living our lives "in Christ," as his body (relating back to the opening admonition to give our bodies as a living sacrifice.)