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Romans  ◦   Chapter 12

1Therefore with all my heart I urge you, brothers and sisters, to consider how merciful God is in providing his Remedy, and to surrender your entire being to God as a living sacrifice — to be healed and transformed into God's image. This is the most reasonable, logical and intelligent worship you could ever offer.2Do not continue to practice the destructive methods of selfishness, which infect the world, but be completely transformed into God's image by the renewing of your mind. Then you will value God's principles, practice his methods, and discern his will–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3For by God's grace poured out on me, I say to all of you: don't get caught in the trap of thinking you are somehow better than others; rather, be honest with yourself about your own state of spiritual health. The greater your trust in God is, the more you will realize that all your strength, wisdom, and godliness of character has come from him, and you will no longer consider yourself in any way superior to others.4Just as each one of us has one body with many different parts, and these different parts all have different functions and abilities,5so it is with those of us who belong to Christ: We are one body, with each individual believer–each individual part–belonging to a larger whole, with duties and responsibilities beyond the self.6We each have different talents, gifts, abilities, experience and perspectives, in harmony with how God's graciousness has worked in our lives. If anyone is blessed with the ability to prophesy, let them prophesy more effectively as their confidence in God grows.7If some are gifted with serving others, let them serve; if it is teaching, let them teach;8if it is encouraging, let them encourage; if it is giving financially to the needs of others, let them give generously; if it is leadership, let them govern diligently and with Christlike principles; if it is showing mercy, let them do it cheerfully. In this way, the body grows in strength as each member exercises their gifts, talents and abilities for the good of the whole.

9Love must be genuine, not fleeting or based merely on feelings. Hate what is selfish and evil (not the people infected with selfishness and evil, but the principles, motives, attitudes, activities and practices that spread selfishness and evil), and cling to all that is good and healthy.10Be devoted to the welfare, healing, advancement and growth of one another in genuine Christlike love. Value others and their needs above yourselves.11Don't become apathetic, lazy or indifferent, but keep your passion for God and his ways as the motivating force in all you do.12Be joyful in hope, patient in trials and tribulations, consistent and diligent in talking with God.13Give to God's people who have genuine needs, and be hospitable and friendly.

14Seek healing and restoration for those who persecute you, for the infection of selfishness and sin is destroying them; do good to them, and do not be reinfected with evil.15Empathize with others, share in their joys as well as their sorrows–thus grow together in Christian love16and you will live in harmony with one another. Don’t be reinfected with pride, but remember that we are all infected with the same selfish condition and need the same Remedy freely provided by God. Don’t make class distinctions, or refuse to associate with those who are considered by some to be of low position. Don’t be deceived by conceit.

17Don't repay evil with evil, for in so doing you only allow the infection of selfishness to be strengthened and thus damage your mind and character. Be sure to 'do what is right because it is right'–openly for all to see.18Do all in your power to live at peace with others, but be aware that others may still perpetrate evil against you.19And when this happens, my friends, do not take revenge–there is no need for it!–for every act of sin reacts upon the sinner, damaging and slowly destroying their God-given faculties. Be patient and permit God's wrath to work–God's wise method of letting one go to reap the consequences of one's choice–and hopefully it will bring your enemy to repentance; as it is written: "It is mine to discipline; I will settle any debts," says the Lord.20Rather than taking revenge, "If your enemy is hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing good to your enemy, you will bring guilt and mental anguish like burning coals down on their head."

21So don't let evil and selfishness consume you, but rather expel evil and selfishness from your heart by doing good and loving others.