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Friday, June 26, 2015

Learning How to Have Lasting Change in Life

In review of Romans 12:2a it says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform the way you think.

What this means to me:
I should not just be complacent and copy the behaviors and adopt the value of the world around me, rather I should let my relationship and continuing knowledge of God change, even transform the way I think.

What I’m learning is that if I want to have a lasting change in my life, I’ll need to refocus my mind. Specifically, I need to change my thought patterns from focusing on what I don’t want to focus on, to what I do want to focus on. Whatever I focus on is what I’ll move toward.

Today’s verse provides a blueprint how to change my thought patterns:

Do not conform …” How often am I letting others shape my life? God doesn’t want me to be like someone else; he wants me to be the person he made me to be. So I shouldn’t copy, conform, or try to be like anybody else.

“… any longer …” There are a lot of things I started off doing by copying others, they eventually turn into a habit.

“… the pattern of this world.” Pattern means the model of everything I’ve learned in life. If I want to change, I need to change my pattern or model of living that I learned in the past. I need to replace the old, unhealthy pattern with a new one modeled after the life of Christ.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word “transformed” is the same as the word used for metamorphosis, the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. In the same way, God wants to transform me into a completely new person by renewing my mind.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 that this happens when we: “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; be made new in the attitude of your minds; and … put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV).

This means I’m going to have to do some putting off and I’m going to have to do some putting on, and the putting off has to happen before the putting on. It’s just like trying on clothes in a department store. Before I can try on the new stuff, I should really take off the old stuff first.

I’m going to have to let go of the old attitudes, the old thought patterns, the old images that I’ve been living with so I can put on the new garments God has for me.

In summary, the world’s way of thinking isn’t really right and I should not be like everyone else, rather I should let my relationship with Christ change or transform my thinking. Today I pray and thank God for “catching my attention and pointing out to me that I shouldn’t take the easy road by just following the crowd and what media suggests. You have a much better plan for me and my life If I will just learn to listen to you. You will transform me into the unique person you made me to be.” In addition, I need to start considering what ways I’m just adopting the world's values or taking the easy way out. It’s not always popular to not follow along or to speak out when I know that something is not the way God intended it to be.

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