Conform or Renew?

John F. Kennedy said, “conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”  Conformity keeps us held prisoner from a clear mind and clean spirit as we are surrounded by the distractions of the world that try to define us.  Today, we are looking around at what others are doing and how they are reacting instead of making our own logical choices.  How many “likes” do we receive for posting a funny picture on Facebook or sharing a quirky post?  Should what others think be the one thing that defines us?

Paul says in Romans 12:2 to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.  Even back in Paul’s day, he was trying to convince the people to live for Christ and sacrifice themselves daily to live like Him.  He urged them to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice that was holy and pleasing to God.  Paul urged the Romans to not conform to the prevailing habits, styles, and manners of the people around them, who did not know God.  We are not supposed to conform to the vanity of the world that we see in television, magazines, or on social media. 

How do we make a difference in this world without conforming?  We transform ourselves through the renewing of our mind…through Christ and the Gospel.  We should become walking billboards for Christ and what He stands for.  Every day is a test to see how we can be more Christ-like instead of worldly.  How do we do this?

By walking away from the things that separate us from God, we are united with Him.  James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”  Is it hard for you to avoid the Facebook app and be pulled into the videos and ‘likes’ of the day?  Then try and focus on posting encouraging scripture verses, videos that share love and hope, or simply pray for those who are struggling and going through a hard time. 

How can we renew our minds each day?  We don’t allow the distractions of the world to take away our focus or be the driving force of our lives.  We make an investment in ourselves, into our spirit and our faith, by attending church or reading and studying scripture every day.  We have to make the time for God to fill us back up and make us whole and renew our minds and spirits.  Otherwise, we will not be equipped to face the world and its many distractions.

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