- Foundations of Truth
Conform or Transform
A much- loved passage of scripture is Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
More than ever, there is a push to conform instead of transform. There are several examples: compliancy rules of Covid; social media standards; vaccination regulations; acceptance of variant lifestyles and the list goes on. With all this pressure to conform, let's take a look at what conformity means as described here:
"Conformity is the tendency for an individual to align their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those of the people around them. Conformity can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler, unconscious influence. Regardless of its form, it can be a powerful force—able to change how large groups behave, to start or end conflicts, and much more... At its worst, though, it can bring out a person's darkest impulses and even be used to justify—and carry out—large-scale atrocities."
Given the awareness of the many times we are called upon to conform, how does the Christian stay in that place of transformation that renews the mind and places us in God's will? Britt Mooney, former missionary in Korea and podcast speaker of "Kingdom over coffee,” shares five tips to guide the Christian in staying in the will of God.
1. Stop doing things for God. Live with Him.
2. Submit your will to the Father's will.
3. Ask yourself, Does the decision go contrary to God's revealed universal law?
4. Humbly seek counsel from the community of faith.
5. Don't worry about making a mistake.
God revealing His will is found in the continuing transformation of the mind. Godly activities are commendable, but living with God in the mindset of, “Is this Godly?” is better. That mindset then bears witness in action such as with Daniel when he chose not to conform to the King's food: "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8) Daniel submitted his will in favor of the Father's will.
It is easy to conform. It is almost mindless. We see, we do. And not all conformity is evil. Driving on the correct side of the street is an example of conforming that is good for everyone. It is when we conform to the world and float blindly in the river of "whatever" that we find ourselves seeking "evil with the masses" (Exodus 23:2) rather than "being alert and sober.” (I Thessalonians 5:6) Stop and grab for the hand of another believer to yank you back to the shore and solid ground.
"Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out."
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 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/conformity  https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/simple-ways-of-how-to-know-gods-will.html  https://kirabridges.com/ways-to-not-conform-to-this-world/