Live the way that makes God happy
My Christian friends, God is so very good to us. So I really want you to use your bodies to live for him. A long time ago, God told his people to give him animals to show him respect. They did it like this. They used to kill the animals and burn them up. But now it is different. Now you have to use your bodies to live for him and do good things, it’s like you are giving your own bodies to God while you are still alive. If you do that, you will make God happy. That is the proper thing to do to show that you follow God. Don’t be like most of the people in the world that like to do bad things. You have to be different from them. You have to let God change the way you think, so that you will become new people. Then you will be able to find out the things that God wants you to do, and you will know what is good, and the things that really make God happy.
God wants me to tell you this, and he helps me to say it. Don’t think that you are better than you really are, but think properly about yourself. God himself makes it possible for you to believe in him, so think about how much you trust him. That is the important thing. I will tell you a picture story. Christians are like a body. You know that we each have a body, but that body has a lot of different parts. Each part of our body has its own job to do. But the parts all belong to that one body, so they all belong to each other.* Well, that is a picture of us, God’s people. We all belong to Jesus Christ, and it is just like each of us is a part of his body. Each of us has our own job to do. We all belong to Jesus, so we all belong to each other.
God is good to us and gives each of us the power to do something properly. So if God gave you the power to tell his message to people, well you have to do that whenever you believe he has a message for you to tell.* Or maybe God gave you the power to help other people, well you have to do that. Or if God gave you the power to teach other people, well he wants you to do that. Or maybe God gave you the power to cheer people up, well that is your job. Or maybe he gave you the power to share your money and things with other people, well he wants you to share them with people that need them. Or maybe God gave you the power to be a leader, well you have to try to lead people properly. Or if God gave you the power to feel sorry for people that have troubles, and the power to be good to them, well that is his job for you, so be happy while you do it.
Don’t just pretend to love other people. You have to love them properly. That means you have to hate everything that is bad for them and love everything that is good for them. 10 You have to love each other like brothers and sisters that belong to the same family. You have to respect other Christians more than you respect yourself. 11 Don’t get lazy as you work for God, but work hard and be really happy about it.
12 We know that everything will be really good after God fixes everything up, so think about that and you will be really happy. But if people give you trouble now, don’t give up, but stay strong for God. And keep on talking to God about everything. 13 If any of God’s people need anything, you have to give them whatever you can. If they are visiting your town, and they need somewhere to stay, let them stay at your place.
14 If anyone makes trouble for you, don’t ask God to punish them, but ask him to help them.* 15 If somebody is happy, you be happy with them too. If somebody is sad, you be sad with them too. 16 Always try to be friends with other Christians and don’t argue with them. Don’t think to yourself, “I’m too good to be with them.” Sit down with anybody and be their friend. Remember, you don’t know everything.*
17 If people do some bad things to you, don’t do payback to them. You have to do good things, so that people will know that you are good. 18 Try not to argue with anybody, and try not to fight with anybody.
19 Listen, my good friends, if somebody does something bad to you, don’t do something bad to them. Don’t do payback to them. No, just wait for God. He will get angry with them, and he will do payback to them one day. We can read this in Gods book,
God says, ‘It is my job to do payback to people for the bad things they do. I will punish them, so don’t try to do it yourself.’ ”*
20 Instead of you doing payback to them, you have to do like God says in another place in his book. He says,
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. Then they will be sorry and feel shame for the bad things they did to you.”*
21 So don’t do payback to anybody. Don’t do bad things to them. If you do that payback, it is like you let that bad part of you win. But instead, you have to be good to everybody. That’s how you properly win against bad things.
* 12:4 1 Corinthians 12:12 * 12:6 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 * 12:14 Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28 * 12:16 Proverbs 3:7 * 12:19 Deuteronomy 32:35 * 12:20 Proverbs 25:21-22