By Brooke Holt
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Throughout my high school years, I did not always walk the straight and narrow path. My heart and mind were captivated by the things of this world – popularity, cute boys, friends, tennis, and my social agenda. On more than one occasion, my mother reminded me of a simple truth – we become like the people with whom we spend the most time.
Clearly, my mother wanted me to be discerning about the company I kept in those years. Paul says something very similar in his letter to the Romans. As Christians living in a pagan world, Paul understood the challenges and dangers of the world. Just like our day, these Christians could become consumed with their businesses and families; they could get drawn into the wrong social circles by trying to hang with the popular or powerful crowd; and they had ample opportunities for licentiousness.
Paul would remind the Christians in Rome that they belonged to Jesus Christ, not to the gods of this world. Therefore, they were to offer themselves to the Lord – body, mind, and spirit. The things of this world were no longer to drive their emotions and decisions. Jesus was to lead them.
As followers of Jesus, these Christians would stand out from the world. They could not do the things they once did. Jesus would say the same to you. Where once you focused on the things of this world, you are now to focus on the things of Christ. You may not get to spend as much time with the same people or attend the same parties you once did. You may have to read different books and magazines or take up hobbies that allow you to attend church on Sunday mornings.
When you choose not to conform to this world, you will stand out in the crowds. People may ask you why you do or don’t do certain things. You will have opportunities to testify to your faith. Some people will admire you, and others will shun or ridicule you. You must expect both.
Either way, you belong to Jesus. As a Christian, you are a Christ follower, so everything you think, do, and say is to glorify him and not the world. His call is a hard one and yet a glorious one, too. May the Lord strengthen you to resist conforming to the ways of the world and to choose to be transformed through the power of his Holy Spirit working in you.
Do people know that you are a Christian? Are you daily choosing to be conformed or transformed? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Come explore the grand story of God as the one who knows and loves his people. In one of the greatest love stories ever told, The Book of Exodus reveals God as Yahweh, the Great “I AM.” He is the transcendent, all-powerful creator of all things who defeated the greatest powers of the earth. This same God would have his people know and love him in an intimate and personal way. The Great “I AM” – A Study of the Book of Exodus is a 9-week study consisting of a small group study guide combined with weekly video teachings. Come and meet The Great “I AM”
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