Different?

Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about what it means to be different. This was the theme of our summer youth mission trips and the theme scripture was from Luke 6:27-28: “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” And these words of Jesus certainly do call us out to behave differently.

I have a “life verse” – it’s a piece of scripture that has been my guiding word for a number of years. It’s Romans 12:2 and it has a similar message: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Paul is encouraging the Romans, the recipients of this letter to find new life in Christ.

Do you consider yourself a “conformist” or a “non-conformist”? I want to be an individual! I might be offended if you called me a conformist (even if it was true.) I’d rather consider myself different, a non-conformist. If that’s so, why have the words of Jesus to be different and Paul’s words to not conform, gotten under my skin?

I think it’s because I tend to forget it’s not what I do, it’s about what God can do. The “do not be conformed” isn’t the important part of the verse; it’s the “be transformed” that needs to get my attention. I can try to be different all I want, but if I’m unwilling to let God transform me into a new creation – the very image of God that I was created to be, then being different is just for show. It’s not about being different from others; it’s about being like Jesus.

My favorite translation of Romans 12:2 is from the Contemporary English Version (CEV):
Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.

May we let God change the way we think and act and love,

Vikki

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