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. 2 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.
Transformed by the Renewing of the Mind
The world conforms us through its systems. The messages of the world are multifarious and multitude. We are told what to buy, how to look, what beliefs are acceptable and what moral codes to adopt. Democratic societies have become less about varied ideas vying for supremacy, but more about socially acceptable ideas silencing the opposition. Of course, Christianity is accused, probably rightly, of once being the worldview that quashed all rivals. Now a rampant humanist secularism is in ascendancy and those who are neither humanist or secularist might have to be retrained until they conform.
The Christian believes in indoctrination. Indoctrination is the training of the mind toward new doctrines or belief. The mind must assent to right belief so that right action may follow. This seems like brainwashing to some. However, we are all indoctrinated into some core system of beliefs. The trick is not to avoid indoctrination but to make conscious choices about the process. We allow our minds to be formed after the mind of Christ. Jesus was able to discern the will of God at every turn and always chose what was good and acceptable and perfect.
This raises the question as to whether the media which you choose develops what is good and right and perfect. Does the conversation that you have with friends shape you in ways that you are happy about? How about your schooling?
Sometimes it is hard to learn. It is hard to allow the mind to be shaped by new thoughts and become renewed over all. We can be discouraged by the ever changing world and our need to filter it. We can be discouraged by the way that we are always needing to grow and never arrive. Help us to accept our shortcomings and embrace change.
- How should we present our bodies?
- What should we do with our minds?
- How does this passage imply that spiritual growth happens?
- How have you been transformed recently?
- What is the will of God that you have discerned for yourself?