“Do Not Be Conformed”Categories: Shepherd's Corner
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2)
This verse is a familiar challenge for us to let Christ change our lives as we renew our minds.
Conform and transform are pivotal words that contrast to concepts Paul teaches in this verse, and there’s quite a difference between the two. Conforming to something, like to worldly values, influence, or trends, is something that more or less happens to us without much effort. The word conform comes from the Latin conformare, meaning “to fashion of the same form.” It basically means to “go with the flow.” The prefix of transform is “trans”. It also has its roots in Latin, but it means “across, beyond, or through.” We cannot transform ourselves, it is beyond us. Only the power of God word can transform us.
Paul’s life provides an example of moving from being conformed to being transformed. As Saul, he conformed to the pharisaical tradition of his people. He (Saul) says of himself: “I persecuted God’s church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it. I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors” (Gal. 1:13-14).
This was the old Saul. Everything changed for Paul, however, after encountering God on the road to Damascus see (Acts 22:6-21). That was the beginning of a radical transformation that would reshape his identity and his mission. God wants to transform us too.
Let us not be conformed to the things of this world. We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, but we can allow God’s word to transform our life to his will.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isa. 40:8)