The tension between our beliefs and the culture in which we live constitutes peer pressure, as was discussed in a previous blog.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world” (don’t go along with or take after the thinking of the arena of humanity that is apart from Christ), “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” All around us is a way of thinking that brings about destruction, because it wants to have all the good things of God–prosperity, satisfaction, meaning, peace, knowledge, deep relationships, fulfillment, purpose and health–yet ultimately it wants to bypass God Himself. And like George MacDonald said, “All that is not God is death.”
What does it mean to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind”? The Greek word for “transform” in this verse is metamorphoōs, from which we get our English word “metamorphosis.” It means to change into another form, or transfigure, as Christ was transfigured on the mountain with Peter and John in Matthew 17.
How does transformation–a metamorphosis into another entity–happen? Scripture says the process happens by renewing your mind. The Greek word for “renewal” used here means a renovation, a complete change for the better.
Do you ever watch property shows that specialize in renovating fixer-uppers? Someone has a property that has been damaged, left to ruin, etc., and with some expertise and the right materials, suddenly it is renovated, renewed. The renovated property becomes beautiful, inviting, appealing, and the value of it goes up dramatically. This is precisely what happens to our minds when we renew them!
The mind is the place that decides whether the spirit or the body will dominate. Why does the mind need to be renewed? Because what’s in our mind determines what comes out of our mouths. If our minds are conformed to the pattern of this world–dingy and dark–our mouths will speak death. If our minds are pure, beautiful, and full of light, like God’s, we will speak life into the atmosphere. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, Jesus said in Matthew 12:34. And we will eat the fruit of what comes out of our mouths, be it life or death.
How do you renew your mind?
- The primary way to renew your mind (i.e. think like God) is to read your Bible. The more time you spend in God’s Word, the more your thinking will start to look like Heaven.
- Being around Spirit-filled Christians is also important to renewing your mind. Our faith takes daily hits living in a world ruled by the devil. “Iron sharpens iron,” and the members of the body edify (build up) each other.
- Praying at all times in the Spirit is vital to transformation. As you talk with God and hear His thoughts, your own thinking will change. Paul said bad company corrupts good character
(1 Cor. 15:33), so conversely God’s company purifies our character. Praying in tongues is also important and synonymous with praying in the Spirit. As intercessor, Lee Ann Rubsam, says in her teaching on the Baptism in the Spirit, praying in tongues helps rid you of your “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
So have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind? One way to answer this question is by asking yourself, “What’s coming out of my mouth?”