“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
In this text, the apostle Paul calls on Christians to be “transformed.” The Greek term translated “transformed” means “to change from one form into another.” It is the same word from which we get metamorphosis, a term that refers to the changing of a caterpillar into a butterfly. So, in effect, this verse says, “Be changed from one form into another.”
After instructing us to “be changed,” Paul then reveals how this transformation occurs. Notice again: “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In order for us to change our lives, we first have to renew the mind.
The renewing of the mind begins when one first obeys the Gospel and thereby becomes a Christian. However, renewing the mind is something that is an ongoing work; it is a work that will not end until one leaves this world. We must constantly give attention to this because there are so many things of the world which may confuse and distract our minds from things which are spiritual. Sinful pleasures, money and materialism, relationship problems, or just the daily cares of life can become the main emphasis of our lives. We can spend so much time thinking about these matters that “being transformed” and changing our actions is impossible. If there are things we want to change about our personal conduct and character, we must renew the mind.
Changing bad habits, breaking addictions, changing our personal conduct and character are not easy because renewing the mind is so challenging. It may take time for a renewed mind to be obtained so that behavior can be changed. Paul wrote, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Keep putting on the new man is the point.
Begin today “seeking those things above” (Colossians 3:1-2). Set your mind on things which are spiritual. Meditate upon God’s Word. Seek God and develop a desire to please Him. Think on things which are high and holy (Philippians 4:8). Whatever your struggles are, you can “be changed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t give up.
Chapman church of Christ