In our last post, we talked about how the thought of becoming a living sacrifice for God will assist in breaking the negative stereotypes of our generation. While people respond to a life that is willing to be sacrificed for God, people will also respond to a life that is distinctly separated from the world. As Paul writes to the Christians in Rome in chapter twelve, he begins by pleading with them to become a living sacrifice to God as we have already discussed. In verse two, we find that we are given yet another way to break the stereotypes of a culture.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Have you ever considered why you do something? For instance, why do you wear a certain style of clothing or a certain brand? Why did you choose to get on social media? Why do you strive for certain achievements or a particular status? Many times, our reasoning behind some of these decisions is because we were influenced by someone making it sound great. While there is nothing sinful or inherently wrong with any of the above examples, there is an example of the power of a trend. If you can make something feel or look cool enough, many people will get involved.
Our flesh has a magnetic attraction to the world and sin, but according to Romans 12:2, we are not to be conformed to the world. The world has a mold that it wants to place you in. The world wants you to believe that purity before marriage is impossible and that everyone lives for money. When we choose to fall for these lies, we have placed ourselves in that mold and conformed to the world and the culture around us. If we are going to break a generation or culture, we must not fall for conformation, but rather, focus our lives on transformation.
For every counterfeit the world offers a Christian, there is an alternative. Satan offers you conformation to a mold, but God offers transformation from the world. If you want to stand out in your generation, not only must you not fall into the mold or template of the world, but you must be something totally different than the world. Living for self and chasing the next big thing in this world is conformation, but living a life with a higher purpose is transformational. Showing love to those around you is transformational. Saving yourself for marriage is transformational. All of God’s alternatives, if we choose to do them, are transformational in the eyes of a culture who has been told the only option is conformation.
Hopefully, you’re sold on living a transformed life! If you are, you probably have some questions. For instance, “How do I transform?” Or, “Why would I want to transform?” God actually gives the answer to both of those questions in Romans 12:2.
How do I transform?
The only way to transform is to get a new mind. Start saving lots of money cause I can imagine new minds are pretty expensive. Fortunately, God has given us a free option for renewing our mind through His Word. Our minds have been so inundated with the world and our culture that God’s Word and truth found within are transformational. The Bible says God’s Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
Not only does the Word of God have the power to change us according to Hebrews 4:12, but the truth found in God’s Word is a sanctifying agent as well.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Have you let God’s Word change you lately? When you open God’s Word, do you ask God to show you something to change in your life? If we are going to be transformed it starts by getting a new mind and the only free way of receiving a new mind is by opening God’s Word and getting the mind of Christ through the truth.
Why do I need to transform?
Have you ever felt like you weren’t smart enough to prove something? I know I have. I may have an assumption about something or maybe even something I know is true, but I am just too dumb to be able to prove it. Why is transformation necessary? Because your life can prove something to a lost and dying world! Here’s a scary thought – someone that is headed to Hell could base their decision on eternity on the proof of your transformation. Wow! When I consider the fact that there are lost people who are looking at the impact Christ has made in my life and deciding whether or not they want to be a Christian, that is scary in so many ways.
Are you a Christian who is so different from the world that people are attracted to Jesus Christ as a result? Or do you make people turn their backs on Jesus Christ and the Gospel? By becoming a transformed individual, you are proving God’s will. By becoming different from the culture and the world, you are showing the world what God can do with a transformed life.
So here’s the question, will you choose to fall into the mold of the world and conform to the culture? Or, will you choose to be a picture of God’s will by transforming your mind through God and His Word? Breaking the negative stereotypes of a generation requires some people who choose to transform instead of conform.