“Christians are called to ‘not conform to the pattern of this world,’ with its behavior and customs that are usually selfish and often corrupting. Many Christians wisely decide that much worldly behavior is off limits for them. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values, however, must go even deeper than the level of behavior and customs – it must be firmly planted in our minds – ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.”
I love the Life Application bible. This quote jumped out at me this morning as I read Romans 12:1-2. I was reminded of the many conversations I have had with believers about the challenge of being a Christian in this world. I recalled the many I have encountered who have white knuckled their way through Christianity, carefully monitoring their behavior and sadly the behavior of those around them. Looking over their neighbor’s wall and calling out their garbage as their own carefully concealed garbage collects on their side. Those who are careful not to drink, smoke and cuss (in public); who pinch their perfect kids under the table to snap them out of their poor behavior and grimace when boy wonder or perfect princess show their humanity in public. The very ones who like the quote above calls out…are prideful, covetous, selfish, stubborn and arrogant…all the while wearing their faith face….whose behavior is locked in and on point for the most part, while their unrenewed minds ultimately unravel, revealing who they really are.
Oh that we would stop white knuckling it and allow transformation to stick and remain. That we would stop acting and start being; that we would wake up and realize how foolish we must look to the world; how much we have been influenced by the world; how much we look like the world.
How freeing it is to acknowledge, admit, repent, receive and live.
No longer white knuckling it…just being transformed.
“Therefore, I urge you (try earnestly or persistently to persuade someone to do something), brothers and sisters (that would be us Christ followers), in view of God’s mercy, (compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm) to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. (Selah – read that again!!) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, (the ways, customs, behaviors of the world) but be transformed (changed…how?) by the renewing of your mind (how? by the Word of God) – THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
God doesn’t want what you have….He wants you! All of you…even your white knuckles!