Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. — Romans 12:1b.

For over seventy-five years, I’ve heard this biblical passage used to justify how people should behave, and I’m not sure I’ve heard someone get it right, especially when they are trying to tell someone else what to do. In the regions of the South where I was raised, I’ve heard it used to justify not-drinking alcohol, not dancing, not wearing short skirts or men having too long hair. The list goes on and on. Do anything outside the norm and someone pulls out St. Paul. The problem with a judgmental interpretation of this passage is it presumes knowledge of what is “acceptable to God.” As far as I know everyone is acceptable to God as long as we honor God and “do unto others.”

Maybe St. Paul’s admonition should focus on the word “present.” Maybe he is only telling us to “show up,” and be ready to do what is ever necessary to do God’s will.

What do you think?


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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