We all want to “fit in.” Peer pressure, at any age, is difficult. However, take a moment and look at the world we live in. In 2017, what is the world like? What are people like in 2017? There’s the opiate epidemic that is ripping families apart. Selfishness. Arrogance. Pride. Immorality. Disrespect. Lack of honesty. Adultery. Murder. Hate. Anger. Violence.
Is that really the world we want to “fit in” with and be like? Paul wrote in Romans 12:2 that we should not conform to the world. The word “conform” means to “comply with rules, standards, or laws” or to “behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards” or to “be similar in form or type.” Just because something is socially acceptable, doesn’t make it right. God will never change His standards to meet social standards. People can cry out about being offended by this or that and change laws in an attempt to achieve “political correctness” but changing man’s laws does not change’s God’s laws.
God does not want us, as Christians, to “fit in” with the world. He set us apart, made us holy, and sanctified us the moment we gave our lives to Him. He expect us to “Let your light so shine among men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) The light we are to shine is Christ Jesus. If Christians lived the same as non-Christians, then why would they ever want what we have? We cannot let our lives conform to this world. Instead, Paul tells us to be transformed. The Greek word for “transformed” is “metamorphoo” and means “change.” It’s the same word we use when we talk about a caterpillar metamorphing into a butterfly. Through the holy work of Christ on the cross, we are changed from sinner to saint as Christ’s blood shed at Calvary washing our guilt and sin away. Why would we ever want to live defeated lives of sin when we can live transformed in the glory of God?
But how do we live transformed? Paul tells us: “by the renewing of our minds.” We renew our minds as we dig deep into God’s Word. His Word gives us instruction, convicts of sin, and draws us ever deeper into an experiential and personal relationship with God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
It is impossible to renew your mind if you never open your Bible or just read a quick devotional from your email just so you can mark it off your to-do list for the day. Living a transformed life means living a Christ-like life. The only way we can do that, is to know how Christ lived and to know how He expects us to live and He tells us in His Word. Renewing your mind with the things of God requires us to meditate on His Word, take it into our hearts, and apply it to our lives. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. When we are studying His Word, we are able to set apart truth from the lies the world would try to deceive us and con us with as it attempts to get us to conform to it’s way of life. As we study His Word and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit within us, we are then able to “discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Psalm 119:11 says “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”
So be go ahead…be transformed.