Truth? There is nothing in this whole world that I love more than Scripture. However, sometimes, it’s difficult for me to digest. It’s not that I don’t understand it. I do. That’s the problem.
Understanding brings me face to face with the ugliness in my heart and forces me to make decisions for or against Christ. Will I die to myself and follow Him in this particular, or will I choose my own path, pretend I don’t know that I’m in the wrong, and hope that the spiritual make-up I’ve applied is thick enough to fool everyone but Him? No, conviction isn’t always pleasant.
This morning, I picked up my Bible anyway, and I am still choking on the bite I took.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I’ve read this verse at least a hundred times, memorized it, taught it, and written about it. It seemed a safe enough way to start my day, but this Word of God we often handle like a self-help tool is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Today, it cut me right to the core.
The thing that struck me in this verse was the switch from active to passive voice. According to this verse, conforming is something that we do, but transformation is something that we let God do in us. Oh, we play a part in transformation, alright. We let go. Understanding that what seems right to us in the moment often leads to death (Proverbs 14:12), we make a conscious choice to stop reacting, processing, TALKING, analyzing, and judging and allow God not only to change our behavior, but to actually rewire our thinking.
What does that mean in practical terms?
Well, for one thing, it means that when my loved ones do something stupid—we all do something stupid sooner or later—I allow the Holy Spirit to stop me in my tracks before I respond in kind. When He pricks my heart, I freeze Matrix style and choose not to do the things that I want to do, yell, blame, snub, punish, and wound, lest I conform.
Instead, I ask God to take the two-headed beast of petulance and pride that I become in moments like those, the one capable of biting heads off quite handily, and let Him melt me down into someone else. Someone who sees the potential in people rather than the flaws. Someone who feels genuine, selfless compassion for others. Someone who values mercy over justice and offers second, third, and twenty-seventh chances.
Of course, letting go means giving up any right I think I have to sulk or hold a grudge. It means forgoing the tearful “I’m sorry” I feel I deserve and/or the kiss-up compliments that come with apologies. What’s more, it means forfeiting the chance to feel morally superior for a moment.
How ugly I am!
Even so, I desperately want to know the Father. I want to please Him. I want to be a part of what He’s doing in these last days, and for that, I need discernment. For that, I need rewiring, complete transformation, and that’s the truth.