In the World–May 26, 2019

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On May 7, two students armed with guns entered a school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. This could have been another school massacre. However, three students, who were willing to sacrifice their lives, tackled and disarmed the shooters. One of the heroic students, Kendrick Castillo, was killed while helping to stop the assailants. Brendan Bialy and a third student joined Castillo in subduing the attackers. All three were hailed as heroes for putting themselves at risk in order to save others. Bialy is in a Marine Corps training program. He put into action what his recruiter had taught him: Put service before self.


Self-centeredness is not a Christian virtue. While some may be called to make the ultimate sacrifice in their service to others, all Christians are called to sacrifice themselves in other ways. In today’s passage, the apostle Paul teaches that we are to live as sacrifices offered to God (Romans 12:1). We are called to put service to God and others before self. Whatever gifts we have, whether showing leadership in the face of evil or encouraging others or extending mercy, Paul says that using our gifts to benefit others is one of the ways we worship God.

  1. What causes some people to act heroically when others do not?
  2. How is it worshipping God if we live sacrificially in the ways the text mentions?
  3. Share some examples of people who lived sacrificially by using their spiritual gifts to serve God and others.

—Charles R. Boatman
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