Monday, December 2

Called to be different

Scripture: Romans 9-12

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Observation

Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world.  Other translations say:

  • “Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world.”  NLT
  • “Don’t be shaped by this world.”  NCV
  • “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit in without even thinking.”  The Message
  • “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold.”  Phillips

The word “conformed” in the Greek suggests an outward conformity.  In contrast, the other word for conformity is about inward change first that then results in outward behavior.  In other words, this is an external conformity—go along to get along.  

Instead, we are to be transformed (GK: metamorphosis) by the renewing of our mind.  Allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out, and make us truly new and different.

Application

We live in a culture that applies tremendous pressure to conform.  The first thing that comes to mind is the tidal shift around sexual mores, particularly LGBTQ issues.  If you are not “affirming” then you are labeled hateful!  No matter how respectfully you may disagree or how kind and loving you may be personally, failure to conform renders you hateful.  There are many other examples of cultural pressure to conform, which is nothing new, but is perhaps made more powerful by social media (and media in general).  

Christians are called to be different!  We are not to conform to our culture, but be transformed by Jesus.  When we conform, we are, in the words of Jesus, “salt that has lost its savor.”  We lose any ability to affect or influence the culture, and the people around us.  

You can’t make a difference without being different!

So don’t be squeezed into the mold!  Be transformed by Jesus!

Prayer: Lord, help me to be transformed today by You, instead of being conformed to the world.  Do Your work inside me and make me new and different.