“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Change is great on the outside, but real change comes from the inside out. It’s more than cosmetic; it’s more than a skinnier version of the same old you. God wants you to be made new from the inside out – spirit, soul, and body.
God puts them in that order in his Word: “May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being – spirit, soul, and body – free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 TEV).
God knows that real change comes from the inside. It’s great’s to clean out the fridge and get rid of the junk food in the pantry. But what about the junk food in your head? The old lies, the empty values, the false perceptions? Ephesians 4:23 says, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds” (NIV).
There are two words in today’s verse from Romans 12 that I want to focus on –
- Conform. According to the dictionary, conform means to “make or become the same” or “to behave in a conventional way by accepting without question the customs, traditions and prevailing opinions of others.” How often do we do this? We think, “Oh everybody else is doing it so it must be okay.” But God says, “Don’t conform to the ways of this world. Stop and think about what you’re doing.”
- Transform. Transform means “to change the condition, function, nature, character or personality” of something. It means changing from the inside out. In Romans 12, Paul says to transform yourself not by trying to be like the rest of the world, but by renewing your mind, by changing the way you think.
God wants a new you who not only looks different, but who lives and thinks and speaks and acts differently. He wants a new you who has taken a 180-degree turn and is headed in a new direction, no longer pursuing an old way of life, no longer trying to conform and fit in and be like everybody else. He wants a new you who is being transformed by the renewing of your mind – a new you who is being transformed into the likeness of Christ.