I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is Your spiritual worship. 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 12:1-2
It’s easy to get caught up in the culture we live in. One of the greatest struggles for Christ followers is to live as Jesus would in a world that tempts us to do the opposite. We are formed by the places and people we spend most of our time with. This occurred for me when I was at the Citadel. I had never really stepped into a gym until I stepped foot on campus. With 2,200 other students trying to get more muscles and be physically fit, I slowly got sucked into the same mindset.
I found myself suddenly extremely conscious of my body. I was watching what I ate, working out for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, and investing money I did not have in protein shakes in order to help keep up with the “unofficial” competition taking place. I was not aware that I was conforming to the world around me. I finally got to a place where I developed a mindset of being healthy versus trying to best every other person in the room. It took a couple of years for this to take place. I had to rewire, or renew, my mind in order to not go back to my destructive habits.
This is Paul’s warning in our verses today. The difference between conforming and transforming is awareness. If we go through life unaware of what is around us, we will automatically be conformed to it. Sometimes we wonder how and why we picked up certain unhealthy habits. It’s not until we begin to see where we are going and who we are around for the light bulb to go off.
Paul challenges us to renew our mind. This comes from keeping our mind focused on Jesus and not living passively. He is the One who renews every part of our lives. When we make the effort to spend time with Jesus, our thoughts, attitude, and perspective change. Reading Scripture, praying, worshipping, and being in community with other Christ-followers serve as opportunities to have our mind renewed.
When we make it a habit to constantly renew our mind, we find ourselves more prepared to go and take the Gospel to people in need. We can rest knowing that as we seek Jesus, He will be working behind the scenes. When we spend time with Jesus, our minds begin to take shape and reflect His own.
Spend some time thinking about Jesus, and notice how Your mindset regarding your circumstances changes.
Write down a few realities of how Jesus thinks, and use those to start renewing your mind.
Father, thank you for giving me the opportunity to renew my mind. Left to itself, my mind can get wild and crazy, but You are my hope in bringing it back. Renew my mind to be more like Yours. Help me to take the Gospel to others without fear of the temptations around me. I love You Father, and pray all of these requests in Your holy name, Amen.
PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.