Living Sacrifices for the Sake of the Community (Romans 12:1–3)
Needless to say, putting others ahead of ourselves requires sacrifice. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” Paul exhorts (Rom. 12:1). The words bodies and living emphasize that Paul means practical actions in the world of daily life and work. All believers become living sacrifices by offering their time, talent, and energy in work that benefits other people and/or God’s entire creation.
We can offer a living sacrifice to God every waking moment of our lives. We do it when we forgive someone who transgresses against us in our workplace or when we take the risk to help heal a dispute between others. We offer a living sacrifice when we forego unsustainable use of the earth’s resources in pursuit of our own comfort. We offer a living sacrifice when we take on less-than-satisfying work because supporting our family matters more to us than finding the perfect job. We become a living sacrifice when we leave a rewarding position so our spouse can accept a dream job in another city. We become a living sacrifice when, as a boss, we take the blame for a mistake a subordinate makes in his or her work.