Scripture: Romans 12:1-21
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: Have you ever noticed how hard it is to change? We can change our clothes, our hairstyle, our habits and routines, but transformation is something else entirely. Can we transform ourselves? The Greek word for transformation is μεταμορφόω (metamorphoó) from which we get the word metamorphosis which means a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. Butterflies and moths are two examples of natural metamorphosis. The caterpillar spins a cocoon and within a certain number of days a completely different looking insect emerges. The caterpillar can’t make it happen. She creates the environment for transformation to occur. This is the only power she has and this may be the only power that we have when we want to become completely different – to create an environment in which God can change us. Unless we do this, there is very little we can do to transform ourselves. We can dress up the outside; but we can’t become who we are truly created to be without God’s power to transform.
We all make decisions that determine what course life will take, but our plans for change can only go so far. The kind of transformation the Apostle Paul is talking about isn’t something we do – it is something God does when we put our lives in God’s hands. This transformation can happen when we step out of our comfort zone; when we pray or dedicate ourselves to spiritual disciplines, when we stand up for someone who has no voice; when we fight for justice, feed the hungry or visit the sick. If 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, satisfaction will elude us. Without an inner sense of God’s peace, we will feel discontented from ourselves and others. When we are transformed, we can find joy and peace no matter our circumstances.
This chapter in Romans outlines what the renewing of the mind looks like. What might happen if you gave yourself to God as a living sacrifice and then waited to see what happens?
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].