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MEDITATIONS

Posted by xdoulos on March 23, 2010

Being Transformed

Romans 12:2, “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

 

Being conformed to the world is usually defined as listening to certain kinds of music or going to movies, dancing or drinking wine.  However, Scripture does not treat the subject in the same way.  Conforming to the world is to basically adopt a philosophy of life, even religious life (such as Pharisaism) or to live by the same values and moral standards of the age in which we live.  The word  “world” in this verse is not kosmos but aiōn and usually refers to a period of time or an age.  To not be conformed or patterned after the age we live in is a serious challenge to our human nature.  We are being conformed from the day we are born.  Our families and friends tell us what success means, our country tells us what our rights are and where our duty lies.  Business dictates certain attitudes and ethical behavior which our culture has approved and our educational system begins when our minds are young and naïve to tell us what is good and what is bad, what is normal and what is acceptable.  Even patriotism can be a form of worldliness as much as enjoying rock and roll music.  When our nationalism or political views are more important than God’s global work of redemption, then we are conformed to the world.  For these reasons Paul does not tell us to not become conformed to the world, but the text can literally read, “Stop being conformed.”

 

The appeal in this verse is to “be transformed.”  In other words, we need to change from the mindset, the attitude and philosophy our world has programmed into us and to think differently.  The language and flow of thought of Paul is that transformation is a process (literally, “be being transformed”).  This process is brought about by “renewing the mind.”  How does one “renew” his/her mind?  By meditating in the Word of God and by critiquing the values, ethics, morals, and norms of our world by that which God has revealed in His Scriptures.  By honest and serious study of the Bible, one can learn what sin is (not what religious or secular culture has determined sin is), how sin affects us and those around us.  One learns from Scripture the difference between heart attitude and outward religious behavior and the difference in Christ’s standards for His followers and the dead religious rituals or self-righteous efforts of religions or the autonomous human philosophy of life. 

 

Laying our culturally conditioned values and attitudes before the Word of God and being willing to renew our thinking can be threatening but can also provide the joy and peace of living in harmony with God.   The last part of this verse indicates that a renewed mind will prove (test and find to be genuine) God’s will.  The will of God is only good and acceptable (pleasing) and perfect, it is not to be feared or doubted.  For one to be in God’s will is to find the meaning of life and provides a base for dealing with the age in which we live.

 

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  

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