On Being a Christian

During Bible class today at church I was struck again at Paul's description in Romans 12 of what it looks like to be a Christian. Quotes from Romans 12, in a bulleted list (translation is The New Jerusalem Bible):

On Being a Christian: A List from Romans 12

Never pride yourself on being better than you really are.

Think of yourself dispassionately.

When you give, you should give generously.

If you are put in charge, you must be conscientious.

If you do works of mercy, let it be because you enjoy doing them.

Love without any pretense.

Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good.

Let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression.

Regard others as more important than yourself.

In the service of the Lord, work not half-heartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.

Be joyful.

Persevere in hardship.

Keep praying regularly.

Share with any of God's holy people who are in need.

Look for opportunities to be hospitable.

Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them.

Rejoice with others when they rejoice.

Be sad with those in sorrow.

Give the same consideration to all.

Pay no regard to social standing.

Meet humble people on their own terms.

Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.

Never pay back evil with evil.

To the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone.

Never try to get revenge.

If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink.

Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.

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3 thoughts on “On Being a Christian”

  1. These wonderful instructions show us what it means to be "not conformed to this world" but rather "transformed by the renewing of your mind." These instructions turn the values of "this world" upside down. They are a necessary prerequisite to reading Romans 13 on a Christian's relation to the "powers that be."

    This is what "Christian education" should teach, if it were truly Christian.

    God's Peace to you.


  2. There's a country song that's tongue-in-cheek about praying for one's enemies. It starts off talking about going to church, and hearing the preacher talk about how you've got to let go of things and just pray for the person. So he does ... Something like "I pray your brakes go out going down a hill, I pray a flower pot falls off a window sill and hits you in the head just like I'd like to." It's not Paul. It's just a country song, but it makes me laugh.

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