Romans 12 is a beautiful chapter written by a man who understood its wisdom far better than most. These words not only came from God they also came from Paul’s very existence. He was immersed in his transformation into a perfect servant and along the way he found the joy that can only exist in a life of humility and service.How does this transformation take place? It begins when we decide to become a Christian – “by the renewing of your mind.” The transformation is not easy; it’s a struggle to leave behind a life devoted to self. Those who stay the course will be victorious like Paul, but if we let our egos direct our lives we will one day seek mercy where there is none.The goal is to align our minds and our lives to the “perfect will of God.” This transformation is difficult, but not impossible. Sadly, many of us will give up long before we find the joy that Paul found.Satan knows all about Romans 12. He knows that Paul’s words have guided many to a life of genuine happiness and away from him. Satan can see how a congregation devoted to one another can grow and how its members can become more like Jesus and less like him. He can see the power of transformation but he knows the power of “self” can defeat it.
Paul’s words warn us about this in verse 3 by telling us not to think more of ourselves than we should. None of us are too far from our past and old habits are just a thought away. A rash comment in bible class, a jealous thought, even the honors of living a godly life can easily lead us to pride, conceit, arrogance and self-righteousness. Satan knows this and he is always nearby, whispering in our ear.
“Let love be without hypocrisy,” Paul said. The word love in verses 9 and 10 is rooted in selfless qualities. This love will lead us to “…preferring one another.” Paul wanted us to set an example and take the lead in honoring each other, rather than working to achieve some kind of recognition for ourselves.
Near the end of the chapter Paul wrote, “Be of the same mind one toward another.” This can only mean desiring that others have the same physical and spiritual well-being that we seek for ourselves. When this happens, we will know the transformation has begun.