BE A LIVING SACRIFICE NOT A DEAD ONE
I plead with you brothers and sisters
These strong words by St. Paul to his Brothers and Sisters in Rome were written in times similar to the pain and suffering we see too often these days.
For strange reasons, people buy into the depraved idea that dying to kill others is a noble and honorable thing to do. Suicide killings are the ultimate act of deranged thinking, in my mind.
To any rational human being, killing innocent people by killing yourself is beyond disgraceful. It is an abomination. However in this text, St. Paul goes far beyond this radical issue of killing.
I think Paul is speaking to the idea that living pleases God, and “dead living” displeases God. To me it is tragic to see living people live without life; little joy, negative words, lazy living, sad eyes, and dying slow deaths in various ways, obvious to anyone willing to examine human behavior.
Paul is talking about subtle issues of the heart, because there are many forms of not being a living sacrifice. As I sit in front of the fireplace in the wee dark hours of this Sunday morning, I ask myself, “What does it mean for me to be a living sacrifice?”
The second question is, “Why was it so important that Paul would actually plead for his dear brothers and sisters to be living sacrifices?”
Thinking like a basketball coach, I like how Paul presents the body as a living sacrifice. This is exactly what I expect of my basketball players. This is why basketball is such a fabulous tool to teach character.
Paul understood, if you can discipline the body you can discipline the mind; if you can discipline the mind, you can discipline the spirit. Discipline begins with the body.
Pleading makes me think of the ways that my wife Susie and I pleaded with God to keep our children safe; to help them to be strong, and be able to live lives of success; to have joy, peace, and happiness.
Paul pleads for us to be living sacrifices so that we can please God, and in turn be pleasing to all who come into our lives. Meaning and purpose for Fred Crowell, is to know God and enjoy Him forever.
Dear Heavenly Father I ask you to give me the power to be a living stone today.
One body, one mind, one spiritual sacrifice today.
Physically – eat only healthy food
Mentally – do a mental workout
Spiritually – meditate on being a living sacrifice