And so, dear brothers and sisters, a I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?
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. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,
so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you.
If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.
If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good.
Love each other with genuine affection, b and take delight in honoring each other.
Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.
When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don't curse them; pray that God will bless them.
When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.
Live in harmony with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, "I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it," c says the Lord.
Instead, do what the Scriptures say: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you." d21
Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)