Becoming Ms. (or Mr.

) Congeniality
Romans 12:2a; 3, 9-20 Opening Question: What draws you to a person? (Paraphrase: What qualities attract you to a person?) Everyone wants to be around someone who’s friendly, charming, easy to get along, and all those other nice traits that we find in a friend. But of course, it goes both ways. If we want to be surrounded by likeable people, we ourselves must be the Ms. Congeniality type; otherwise we alienate ourselves and find it hard to make friends. The Bible is full of insights as to how we can live in harmony with the people around us. Numerous verses can be found dealing with what a person must do or become so that he can be a joy to be with. Interaction: Option 1: Without looking in your bible, state as much verses you can remember that talks about relating to others.
(ex. put off falsehood and speak truthfully to (your) neighbor – eph.4:25; do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth – eph. 4:29; be kind and compassionate to one another... eph.4:32; bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances...col.3:13

Option 2: Search in the bible for verses that talk about relating to others. Share to the group. These numerous “relationship verses” points to an obvious fact: God cares about our social life.

Just like every other areas of our lives, He wants our social life to be healthy and growing. As Christians, we are expected to be the most congenial persons around. How many times have you heard this question, “Akala ko ba Kristiano siya, eh bakit ang sungit niya?” or “Akala ko ba Kristiano ka, eh bakit ang sama ng ugali mo?” As Christians, we must always strive to be in good terms with the people around us. In Romans 12:16a, it says “Live in harmony with everyone.” In Romans 12:18, it says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” But honestly, it’s easier said than done.
04.19.08 Becoming Ms. (or Mr.) Congeniality zarahlim_1

All of us have our own struggles regarding our relationships and most of the time, it’s really hard to win over our weaknesses. Question: What is hindering me to be able to live at peace with everyone?
(Possible answers: Temper, mood swings, negative thoughts, pride, selfishness, etc.)

But nevertheless, we need to obey God and “live at peace with everyone.” A difference must be seen in us with regard to how we deal with temptations and our struggles, how we react to stress (oops!), how we react when pressured (another oops! ). We must be different from the world. Read Romans 12:2a “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The Bible tells us (Christians) that we must be different because we are not citizens of this world anymore. Share your thoughts on this question: If we are not to “conform to the pattern of this world (v.2a),” then how can we be able to “live at peace with everyone (v.18)?” Knowing that you’ll be branded as weird, fanatic, KJ/kill joy, if you don’t act like the world. Being at peace with everyone doesn’t mean conforming to the standards / norms of this world and compromising your principles to please them. Rather it is standing firm on what you believe in but not being arrogant and aggressive about it. You cannot make everyone agree with you and your beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you are right if you are causing the person to be stumbled by your example. As this wisdom quote said: “Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.” Is it even possible to live at peace with everyone? Maybe not. We cannot please everyone after all! But as far as it depends on you, it is possible! As Paul said in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” The choice is ours. We can choose to love, to forgive, to respect, to care, even if the others won’t. What if there are people who have really hurt me (or still are)? Romans 12:14

04.19.08 Becoming Ms. (or Mr.) Congeniality zarahlim_2

Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.(AMP) Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.(AMP) Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.(AMP) Think about this: Even Jesus himself wasn’t able to please everyone. The Pharisees hated him, the Sadducees hated him as well, the people asked for him (the One who healed their sicknesses, taught them, and sometimes even fed them for free after teaching them) to be crucified but had Barrabas (who was a real criminal) released. But he won the battle and was considered sinless because of his attitude. He blessed the people instead of cursing them; he even prayed for them during his final moments (Luke 23:34). He never took revenge for what they’ve done to Him, even during His ministry on earth, when they opposed Him and humiliated Him and questioned Him; instead he answered them truthfully, calmly and full of wisdom. He did not conform to the world and yet as far as it depended on him, he lived at peace with everyone. It is, therefore, our attitude that will set us apart from the world. It will also depend on our attitude if peace is to be among our relationships or not. -ApplicationHave the group read Romans 12:3, 9-20 and answer the ff. questions afterwards. 1. Based on the scripture text, which verse(s) do I need to focus on for improvement? 2. What practical solution(s) will I undertake to improve on the area(s) that needs improvement? (Ask for a progress report next week to make everyone motivated to act on the practical solutions they gave above.) *End by praying for each other.*

04.19.08 Becoming Ms. (or Mr.) Congeniality zarahlim_3