«Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind» (Romans 12:2).
Conforming means adapting, accommodating, agreeing, harmonizing, adjusting, being resigned, tolerating, going along with, giving in, acceding, compromising, submitting, and consenting.
Conforming is molding to the world, that is, acquiring the way of the world, its violence, its anti-values, its inconsistent discourses that are far from (or opposite) to practice, its materialism, its self-centeredness, its indifference, its superficiality, and its «save yourself if you can.» We are bombarded by advertising, influenced by the environment, and overwhelmed by an increasingly strong outside world and a progressively weaker inner life.
Conforming to the world does not require any effort; you only need to let yourself be carried away by the current.
In contrast, daily transformation through the renewal of your mind is something entirely different. This requires the exercise of the will, self-control, discipline, and a permanent struggle. The decision is to know and submit permanently to God’s will. It is rowing against the current. It is a nonconformist or dissatisfied way of living with the world, not through criticism or political manifestations, but through conduct that harmonizes and shows the character of Jesus.
We can be influenced by culture or influencers of culture. Jesus’s prayer was not that we should be taken from this world, but that we should be kept from evil (John 17:15). He Himself sends us to the whole world to carry and live a message that transforms and changes lives, that generates peace, hope, and a destiny for eternity.
Is there anything in which you are conforming to the world? A style, a habit, a practice, an attitude . . .? We need a transformation through the renewal of the mind.
Matthew used the same original word that Paul used for «transformation» when he told the story of the transfiguration of our Lord, when His glory and divine inner being were clearly reflected and evidenced on His outward life. Likewise, the transformed believers show it in their inner and outer lives that are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. This is showing Christ in one’s daily life, and this happens only when our minds are renewed by the action of the Holy Spirit by studying His Word and by praying «without ceasing» (l Thess. 5:17).
Do not conform today to this world and its evils. The world needs people who are nonconformists, transformed by the Spirit and strengthened by His Word.
Do not say, «Everyone is doing it,» because God says, «Do not live like the world lives.»
Let us not take the world into our lives or into our church; let us take our lives and the church into the world.