“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
This very popular passage of scripture has been used to discuss themes of personal sacrifice, holiness and submission unto God. A picture is painted of God’s servant walking in wholeness; prepared to be a conduit of His Spirit as He leads.
I have been thinking a lot about this scripture lately. The word that speaks loudly to me is the verb “present”. It means “to show or offer (something) for others to scrutinize or consider.” We go throughout our day making presentations whether knowingly or unknowingly. Let’s consider the following:
· On your daily commute, what do you present when someone cuts you off or suddenly turns in front of you without using their signal?
· You return to church Sunday, after receiving a rebuke from your leader on Wednesday. Are you able to effectively serve or have you built a wall of bitterness and now walk in the sanctuary as a cloud without water?
· While eating lunch with your coworkers, do you skillfully shut down office gossip or do you lend it your ear and begin to formulate judgments according to what you hear?
· When in the grocery store, are you open to share a smile or a kind word? Or are you so focused on your grocery list that you miss every divine opportunity that God set up for you to be a blessing?
Yes, we are to present ourselves unto God, but He gives us daily opportunities to present ourselves to His people. The word present offers two options for your audience: scrutiny or consideration. Let’s take a look at both.
1. Scrutiny – critical observation or examination; a searching study, inquiry or inspection; a searching look; close watch; surveillance.
2. Consideration – careful thought, typically over a period of time; meditation; deliberation.
Both of these actions are being taken concerning each of us daily. This could be several times a day depending on how many people we encounter. Each action shares the truth that someone is watching what we do and listening to what we say. So now, we must pose these two questions to ourselves:
1. What have I given someone to scrutinize?
2. What have I given someone to consider?
These questions speak to the life we live when we are not aware that others are watching. No matter how holy we live, there will always be people who have something negative to say. That’s not what we are dealing with here.
Whether we like it or not, people are watching, listening and scrutinizing. Ultimately, they are looking for consistency. If we profess that we are Christ-like, that’s what they are looking to see and listening to hear. When our presentation becomes holy and acceptable unto God, then some of the people who have scrutinized our life will begin to consider our lifestyle. After witnessing a life of growing faith, agape love and consistency, they may consider our source.
As we go throughout our day, let us be mindful of the scrutiny but prepared for the consideration. Someone may want to know the reason we smile through pain and press through pressure. What a great opportunity to share the love of Christ. On this day, let us be mindful of our dress, our conversation, our works, and the company we keep. Let’s let our lights shine so that the world can consider the God who lives within us. Maybe today is their day to move from scrutiny to consideration or from consideration to salvation.