Friday, February 13, 2015

Are you Conformed or Transformed?


Right after the Civil War, a host of people became teachers because they thought it was an easy way of making a living. In his autobiography Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington tells about such a fellow. This man went from village to village teaching a little and receiving pay for it. In one town, the people asked whether he taught that the earth is round or flat. The man replied that he was prepared to teach that the earth was either flat or round, depending on the preference of the majority of his patrons. (God's Man: A Daily Devotional Guide to Christlike Character)

At a law firm that represented one side of labor disputes, they were looking for lawyers to join the firm. The focus was on law students who had not yet chosen a side. What I took from that was the owners were not looking for people with internal beliefs and convictions but for someone who for a job will commit to a set of beliefs.

Do our beliefs and convictions guide our behavior or do the situations of life determine our beliefs? From what I see, many Christians do the latter. I think this comes from not having a firm, deeply developed foundation of truth from Scripture.

I think a good example is the same-sex marriage issue. Many people, pastors and churches are falling on the wrong side because they are influenced more by society and situations than by what God has said. The same could be said for abortion, divorce, fornication ,debt, etc.

The solution isn't another Bible study but lifetime Bible immersion; It doesn't come easy. Bible college or seminary don't help much either. Most of the time is spent studying about the Bible and learning beliefs and doctrine - usually the side or opinion of the teacher or institution.

Think about and do this:

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 12:2 (ESV)

Don't become so well- adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well- formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2 (The Message)

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Romans 12:2 (Amplified)

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