Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (New International Version)
How do you identify yourself? Do you use words that describes your spiritual being? I often think of myself as a mom, wife, gramma, pastor. I need to instead remember I am a child of God; a daughter of the King. These identifications will help me remember I am a living sacrifice and just as I am “acceptable” to God!
As a living sacrifice, God is asking us to glorify him through the way we use our gifts, especially our spiritual gifts. God knows: as a disabled individual our bodies are broken. God knows: often we feel rejected by the world due to our brokenness. In this passage he exhorts us to not be conformed to this world, but instead be transformed.
This passage reminds us in all things remember you are a living sacrifice and we have the power to transform through glorifying God. I remember standing on a street corner in Downtown Minneapolis on Washington and third Avenue. It was pouring rain.. I was cold, tired hungry and very grumpy. I was using a guide dog at the time and I told her to go forward when I heard the parallel traffic surge. She refused. Several times we missed the light cycle and I was getting more and more frustrated. Then someone tapped me on the shoulder. I began to snap at this poor person, but his voice was so calm and gentle and he said that my alignment was all off and I was heading diagonally across the intersection. I took a deep breath and thanked him. I then asked him if he would guide me across.
I was embarrassed and just wanted to forget the whole thing. A few days later I met this same gentleman at a bus stop. He told me that he was sorry for not helping me sooner. He said he watched and wanted to help but did not know how. He said that he was struggling with a parent losing vision and that he enjoyed seeing my independence. He also said that he appreciated my gratitude when he offered advice. His dad was still struggling with bitterness and snapped at anyone who offered help.
So, where is the spiritual gifts in this example? I also could have chosen bitterness, but instead I humbled myself and allowed this person to help. I was transformed to remember that I may not be right in all situations. This kind person was transformed in the way he saw blindness. These interactions facilitate change towards positive outcomes.