“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
In your opinion, what are the patterns of today’s world? The world gives us many messages – some are direct and clearly stated. Others are indirect and subtle.
The world tells us that money will make us happy. Make a lot of money, and you can have anything you want. The world tells us that we need to look a certain way or have certain things in order to be happy. The world alludes to the fact that we can achieve perfection and compete with anyone.
These messages tempt us to doubt ourselves and especially our faith in God. These messages also urge us to work harder to achieve status or arrive at a certain destination where we will allow ourselves to be content.
They are false messages that are built on emotion, over-working, and manipulation, making these impossible standards appear possible. That is why it is important to protect ourselves as believers from getting swept away by these illusions.
The verse above from the book of Romans urges us to not conform to the world’s messages. As believers, we are called to be different from the world’s standards, to stand apart from the mainline expectations, and to not let our heads get wrapped up in these fake promises.
This does not mean that we have to reject everything that the world brings or turn our back on anything that is popular or trendy. This means that we are supposed to try to stand strong in what we believe.
The verse states that we can do this by being transformed – we have to change in order to not conform. We have to be willing to grow and change through God’s guidance. Our minds need to be renewed and reminded of who is in control.
As we grow and change, we will find out more about God’s will, and we will have more security in His guidance because His will is good and perfect and will fit us like a glove. As we grow in our faith, let us be reminded that God has a purpose for us.
Take away: Make some choices to renew your mind by praying, reading your bible, taking a walk outside, being creative, or connecting to other believers. Focus on what is truly important, not on things of this world that will fade away, that don’t matter. Remind yourself that God’s will is to bring us closer to him, the thing that matters the most.