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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.Romans 12:2

Pretend you’re sitting at a school desk and someone passes you a note that has been folded a couple of times to ensure confidentiality. You open it carefully so as not to alert the teacher and see this:


Which one do you check? If you’re like most of us, you probably check the “No” box. When most of us turn to our inner or outer selves and make an assessment, our scores tend to be on the negative side of the scale. I love the “Seinfeld” episode in which Jerry finally realizes he is dating a female version of himself. “I can’t date someone who is just like me,” he whines. “I hate myself!”

Jerry is not alone. But what is interesting is the fact that we are so hesitant to allow ourselves to be transformed! If you’re living in a lousy apartment with no parking, a leaky roof, loud neighbors and daily gunshots, wouldn’t you move if you had the chance? If you’ve struck out ten times in a row, would you not consider trying a new bat? If your family complains about your meat loaf every time you make it, would you consider altering or abandoning the recipe?

The “patterns of this world” cover us like tire tracks at Daytona whether we aware of them or not. When faced with difficult decisions and uncertainly, most of us fall back into familiar habits instead of seeking to become something different. I always was amazed at how often I would make the same wrong turns when driving in an unfamiliar city that I had made the year before! The decisions were incorrect but they were familiar.

Paul knew that tinkering was useful but that most of us are far beyond that point in our spiritual lives. A friendly mechanic may try some workarounds to help you avoid an expensive repair bill, but sometimes the engine has to be overhauled. Our willingness to be transformed is essential to our growth. If a caterpillar was unwilling to be transformed, it would die a slow death on a fallen leaf or be eaten by a hungry bird.

We don’t seem to hesitate to want to be transformed physically or financially, do we? Most of us wouldn’t mind an “extreme makeover” but even those dramatic results don’t truly satisfy. If they did, would a model hate herself when she can no longer fit into a size 0? The kind of change that matters comes from the renewing of our mind in Christ and the transformation that is made possible by an open spirit. If you’re struggling today, be thankful that you’re not too proud to want to change. Then talk to God about it and ask yourself why it is that you’re afraid to be transformed…because we’re “more than meets the eye!”


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. --Psalm 139:23


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There are 4 comments

It is so cool how God works through his people and his word!

January 18, 2011 - 14:46

Sounds like the body of Christ working together! Thanks Deb and Shawn!

January 17, 2011 - 11:58

The Romans 12:2 verse was one of my absolute favorites when I was growing up as a teenager. I believe it helped me avoid some poor choices in life, as well as help me to actively search for God's will for my future. He is so faithful and good, even when I've messed up, and I'm so glad he has things under control and is willing to help me change - though sometimes it's very hard!

January 14, 2011 - 07:57
Reply to Deb

Deb, your response to Kent's devotional encouraged me today and I needed the encouragement just then. Thought you should know. Thanks.

January 17, 2011 - 08:10
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