I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
How do we present our bodies as living sacrifices? I love it when scripture answers scripture.
Do you have a question about the Bible? Then the Bible will answer all your questions. It is a Living Book.
Well, I was asking myself, how do I present my body as a living sacrifice? Here was my answer:
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13
"Members" is body parts. Yield my body parts as an instrument of righteousness.
The first "member" that comes to my mind is the MOUTH.
I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God to present your "Mouth" a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.
I can hardly type that sentence without being pricked in the heart with conviction.
The yucky things I yield my mouth to:
Pointing out faults ~ I justify this with "speak the truth in love"
Criticizing bad decisions ~ They won't know it was a bad decision if I don't make it clear
Complaining ~ I'm not happy and I'm sure all my loved ones want to know about it.
Explaining why I am provoked ~ Just gently and humbly letting people know how they can avoid provoking me in the future.
How am I being an instrument of righteousness? I'm not. I'm puffing myself up and promoting my prideful motives.
With my mouth I may:
Point out accomplishments.
Call names: You are COURAGEOUS. You are BEAUTIFUL. You are a HARD WORKER.
When provoked, be patient. Endure. Pray.
I used to tease my children when they were toddlers. If they walked about with a scowl on their face I would ask them "Where is your smile?" Rebellious, they would stomp their little chubby foot and present me with a deeper scowl.
I would reach out my hand to look in their pocket or behind their ear. Then I'd pull "something" out.
"Here it is! Your smile was hiding! Do you want to put it on?"
Stubborn unhappiness would continue.
"No? Well, If you don't want it, I'll take it!" I would wipe my lips as if I put on their smile then start laughing as hysterically as I could. "Oh, your smile is making me laugh! It feels so good to wear it. I don't think I will ever give it back."
This usually worked to help them change their attitude. I tried this the other day with my husband.
He said something especially hurtful. A smart retort was on the tip of my tongue. I so desperately wanted to come back with a comment that would show how hurt I was and at the same time put him "in his place."
Instead, I looked around the table as if I had lost something. I lifted the plates and cups. I dug around in my pockets. I looked under the table searching.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"Oh, nothing, just looking for something."
"Here it is. Good. I don't want to lose that."
Acting like I found it, I wiped my hand across my mouth and smiled as genuinely as I could. I kissed his cheek and left the table. I did not tell him that he hurt me.
Offering our bodies as living sacrifices is a reasonable service. It is reasonable to do this. Not extraordinary. Not awesome and too much to ask. Reasonable. God has given us a free gift of salvation, it is reasonable to offer him our bodies. Will I give him my MOUTH today?