Romans 12

How to serve God

1 My Christian friends, God has been very kind to us. Because of that, I really want you to serve God with your whole life. Offer your bodies to him like a sacrifice that continues to live. Serve him with everything that you have and that will please him. That is the true way to worship God. 2 Do not become like the people who belong to this world. But let God completely change the way that you think, so that you live differently. Then you will understand what God wants you to do. You will know what is good. You will know what pleases God. You will know what is completely right.

3 God has been kind to me so that I can serve him. Because of that, I say this to every one of you: Do not think that you are better than you really are. Instead, think about yourself carefully. Decide how much God has helped you to trust him. Then you will know how to serve him well. 4 Each part of our body works in a different way. But all the parts belong to our one body. 5 In the same way, we are many people, but we all belong to Christ, like one body. We also belong to each other, like the different parts of one body belong to each other.

6 God has been kind to us. He has given to each of us different gifts so that we can serve him. God helps some people to speak his messages clearly. Those people should trust God to tell them what to say. 7 God helps some people to serve others. They should do that well. God helps some people to be able to teach others. Those people should teach well.

8 If God has helped you to make others strong, then you should do that. If God has helped you to share your things with others, do that seriously. If God has helped you to be a leader, do that carefully. If God has helped you to be kind to others, do that happily.

Love people and help them

9 Really love other people, not like a hypocrite. Hate anything that is bad. Continue to do things that are good. 10 Love each other truly like brothers and sisters. Be really happy to respect other Christians. 11 Do not be lazy, but always work hard. Serve the Lord well because you enjoy it. 12 Be happy, because you can trust God to do what he says. Be patient when you have troubles. Always continue to pray. 13 If any of God's people need anything, then help them with what you have. Always be happy to let people stay in your home.

14 Ask God to bless people who cause trouble for you. Yes, ask him to be kind to them. Do not ask him to do bad things to them. 15 If you are with someone who is happy, you should also be happy. If you are with someone who is sad, you should also be sad. 16 Always try to agree and to be friends with each other. Do not be proud. Be friends with people who are not important. Do not think that you know everything.

17 If someone has done bad things against you, do not do bad things back to them. Try to live in a good way so that people will respect you. They will see that you do good things. 18 If it is possible, try always to be friends with other people.

19 My friends, if someone has done bad things to you, do not try to punish them yourselves. Instead, let God be angry and punish them. This is what is written in the Bible:

‘The Lord God says,

“When people do something wrong,

I am the one who will punish them.

I will pay them back.” ’

20 But the Bible also says this:

‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him.

If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

If you help your enemy, he will become ashamed.

He will be sorry because of what he did to you.’

21 Do not let evil things win against you! Instead, do good things. Then you will win against the evil things that people do.