“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. ” -Romans 12:1 NKJV
“Be reasonable!” A phrase we’ve all heard, or used, in the heat of some private argument. A phrase tossed like grenades by political pundits in public debates. In both case its often in the attempt to gain tactical advantage by imploring the opponent to willfully disarm. History is replete with stories of what happens after good people willfully disarm to be “reasonable” when the very demand for reason was in truth the invitation to compromise truth itself to the harm of the compromiser. But what truly is reasonable? For the follower of Christ the answer is simple, though not always easy. Live lives in a manner that is holy, and acceptable to God.
I write this not for the reader, though I pray one might be encouraged to search God’s Word, rather than their own opinion, for what is truly reasonable in the sight of God and their coming eternity. On the contrary I write this as my own personal reminder. I fail this biblical call to be reasonable daily, if not more frequently, for to sin, an unholy act by definition, is to be unreasonable in God’s sight and we all at times fail to be reasonable in His sight and His full knowledge of holiness. As it says:
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 NIV
So, the next time someone implores me to be reasonable, may I take it not as an insult, or a challenge to compromise virtue and truth (though it may well be), but instead see the opportunity to uphold each. Not for my sake alone, but for theirs also. And not just theirs but for God’s sake, for doing so is the only thing that is reasonable, even if it requires my personal sacrifice.