For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. —-Romans 12:4-5
Romans chapter 12 has had a huge impact on my life lately. This verse was highlighted today on www.biblegateway.com and I just felt like God wanted me to share it with all of you!
For some reason God has been placing on my heart the importance of treating others as more important than myself and not conforming to the world. Romans Chapter 12 outlines the importance of that very well. You see we are all members of one body and when we don’t treat each other with respect and honor, then the body cannot function. When we allow disfunction and intolerance into our souls, then we cannot possibly function as we should – Christ-like.
The good thing about each of us is that God made us all unique. We all have a unique characteristic or skill that allows us to do God’s work. Romans 6:12 “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them.” Honing in on the skill can prove to be quite difficult for most of us. The funny thing about the world is that we are constantly trying to be like each other. We rarely embrace our differences, and see them as good. It seems that we are always trying to conform into something we are not.
I love my friend’s new car, maybe I should think about getting one.
My friend’s new house is gorgeous! Maybe we should think about moving into a bigger place.
My friend’s child is great at football. Maybe I should have my son play football.
My friend just got some great new granite countertops, maybe I should consider upgrading my kitchen.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God.
The list goes on and on. Whatever someone else has, we naturally want that for ourselves. Why shouldn’t we strive to be better, bigger and more popular, right? Unfortunately, God usually holds different plans for us.
I can tell you from experience that when you delve into your own plans and ignore God’s plan for you, life may get a little difficult.
I shared with you before that Pete and I have a rental place. It is a great condo in Florida, and we love to go to the beach for vacation. We purchased it a few years ago, after vacationing in this same place for many, many years. It seemed like the right thing to do (atleast it did to me, Pete had his doubts). After a couple of years, the problems started to pile up, and God kept placing on my heart that money was going to be my downfall. I listened to Him by downsizing my life. We moved into a smaller home. We changed our lifestyle completely EXCEPT for the condo. Guess what? The last few months have been filled with headaches from the condo. I have begun to dread that condo. In fact, I really don’t even want to go visit it. It is the source of a lot of arguments, financial issues and sin.
You see, God has been trying to give me nudges, and I haven’t been listening. I have been making up my own plans. I have been doing everything except the one thing He really wants me to do. Let go of the condo. So needless to say, we have listed it for sale. Since doing this, I have been at peace. Even though problems still arise from that darned condo, I can feel God’s peace and presence. I know I am doing the right thing. It might take a year to sell it, but I know God is calling us to do just that.
What does this all have to do with Romans Chapter 12? Well, when I allow myself to conform to the world, I cannot possibly be a good member of the body. I make myself the broken and dysfunctional member. When God allows us to see that we are the broken one, then we should jump at the chance at fixing it, so that we can contribute to the common good. Just what is that common good? It is doing God’s work here on earth. It is embracing our uniqueness so that we can make our body function to the utmost. It is allowing God to work through us and our entire body, so that ultimately we can show his love to others.
Romans 12:17 …be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.