Summary: How Should We Avoid Being Conformed to the Pattern of This World? (Rom. 12:2)
How Should We Avoid Being Conformed to the Pattern of This World? (Rom. 12:2)
There is always a danger of giving in to the temptations of the world to just feel like being “normal” in our modern society. Today it is easier to try to fit in, blend in and give in to the popular trends in the world rather than to live by Biblical principles.
Quote: Tim LaHaye in His book, The Battle for the Mind writes, “Humanism assumes that man is innately good and capable of solving his problems independently of any Supreme being” (80). “Today’s philosophy of education is obsessed with self-actualization, self-image, self-love, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, self-satisfaction-self, self, self” (80).
Paul the apostle also knew that the Roman world with its human centered -unspiritual, godless and idolatrous thinking would surely lead to self-destruction. The great apostle might have reflected on what David wrote in Psalms 1:1-3 which said,
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and who leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
We are faced with a choice today. We can either decide to give in to the patterns of self-indulgence, carnality and selfishness or we choose to prosper by obeying God’s word allowing it to help us grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet 3:18)
Therefore, Paul urges his readers to not only avoid conforming to the world with all of its pleasure seeking motivations and concentrate on being transformed by the renewing of one’s thinking. Let us examine some of the ways that we can appropriate the absolute truths found in this passage.
1. Paul teaches us that every moment we have to choose between conforming to the world or being transformed by Spirit led thinking. In order to be renewed it is necessary to choose to replace worry with faith; suspicion with trust and sorrow with joy. Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6)
By disciplining ourselves for the purpose of godliness we can put off our old selfish desires and replace them with attitude of righteousness, holiness and truth. Paul knew that we need to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness but gained great motivation from the fact that godliness is profitable for all things not only in this life but also in the age to come. (I Tim. 4:7,8)
Illustration; When I first became a Christian I learned through the Navigators how essential scripture memory was for replacing my old thought patterns with God’s word. It helped my mind take a shower on a moment by moment basis as I let the waters of God’s word cleanse me from self-destructive attitudes. At the same time God’s word helped carve new impressions in my thought processes. It was if the word of God carved permanent patterns of thinking, feeling and perceiving in the rock formations in my mind. I learned how the Holy Spirit transformed my reactions to negative situations through the sanctifying power of the word of God. Nothing comes close to the power of meditating on God’s word to give you success in refusing to conform to the world by initiating a plan of being spiritually transformed by the renewing of your mind.