Bible Reading: Romans 12:1-2
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2
YOU’RE IN SCHOOL, in the middle of a brutal math test. You know you’ve already missed three questions-and you’re only on question 4! You look around the room, desperate for a morsel of hope, a little help. Then your eyes settle on the test paper of the kid who sits next to you. Working furiously, you erase your answers and copy the answers of Eugene Farklemeier, a student who’s railing every class.
Or imagine this: You have no idea what to wear for homecoming, so you decide to go to the store. On the way to the door, you spy a magazine. “Ah!” you cry. You rip off the cover, take it to the mall, and buy an outfit similar to the one worn by the movie star on the cover-the movie star who topped the year’s “worst dressed” list.
Or perhaps it happens like this: You’re planning to try out for the school basketball team, and you notice that one of the kids in your gym class has managed to miss every shot he’s taken. You approach him after gym class one day and explain, “I’m going to go out for basketball. Will you teach me how to shoot?”
Why would you try to copy test answers from a failing student? Why would you imitate the fashion choices of someone who was voted “worst dressed”? Why would you take basketball lessons from someone who couldn’t shoot a basket with a camera?
That would be ridiculous, right? Right. But it’s no less ridiculous for Christians to try to copy what the world does.
A lot of people in the world excuse sinful behavior by saying, “The way I figure, right and wrong are just relative, you know? What’s right for you may not be right for me.” Christians hear that, and before long they’re copying the behavior and explaining away their own wrong choices.
You may watch movies or television shows you know are not pleasing to God, but you tell yourself, Hey, I’m not the only one. Or you may reason that everybody is drinking or dipping, using or abusing, so there’s nothing wrong with your doing it.
But why would you want to copy what everybody is doing? Why copy something that doesn’t work? If you want what the world wants and do what the world does, you’ll end up like the world: sinful, miserable, and messed up. But if you let God transform you into a new person-one who by the power of his Spirit copies God instead of the world-you’ll not only please God, you’ll take your life to a whole new level of fulfillment and enjoyment.
REFLECT: What warning does Romans 12:1-2 give? What can you do to heed the warning?
PRAY: “God, I don’t want to copy this sinful world; I want to be transformed into a new person. Please change the way I think, especially in the area of___________.”