Scripture: Romans 12: 1-8
Key verse: (2) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Reflection: Do you ever look at the magazine rack in the grocery store? All the covers are different, yet remarkably the same. For instance, I recently read the following headlines (or similar versions) on the front of different women’s magazines: anti-aging hair color, why you can’t lose weight, how to lose weight, the secret to great abs, makeover your kitchen and organize your life.
The men’s magazines offered slightly different topics: important facts about sports and playing sports better; hunting and finding the best spots to catch fish or shoot deer and ducks; business startups and business success; blast belly fat, six-pack abs, and better relationships.
Most of these topics have to do with transformation. Transform your home, transform your body, transform your kitchen, transform your career; transform something in your life. These headlines give us the impression that we are in charge. And, to a certain degree we are. We all make decisions that determine what course life will take, but self-help only goes so far. The kind of transformation the Apostle Paul talked about isn’t something we do – it is something God does when we put our lives in God’s hands. When we stop trying to conform to the ideals of the world, God will begin to transform us from the inside out. You can lose weight and still have a poor body image; you can dress for success and still feel like a failure; you can even succeed in business and not be satisfied. When we conform to the world, happiness often eludes us. Without an inner sense of God’s peace, we will be discontent. When we are transformed, we can be happy and content no matter our circumstances.
The first few verses in chapter 12 of Romans outline what the renewing of the mind looks like. Look at Paul’s “headlines” and discover who God is calling you to be. Make up your mind to change, then give yourself to God as a living sacrifice and see what happens. It will be better than anything you can imagine.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the gift of new life. Help us to receive this gift and let you transform us. Make us into the people you have created us to be. Transform our minds that we might more fully give ourselves to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].