A short reading and prayer for today
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Every day our thinking is being shaped by our society. Most of the time we are totally unaware that this is happening but there is no way that we can avoid being influenced by the expectations and standards of the people around us, by the information and views that we receive through the media, and by ingenious and attractive advertising. We won’t swallow all of it whole, but there is no way in which we can be immune from those many powerful influences. As J B Phillips put it in his famous Bible translation, we need to resist the world’s attempts to squeeze us “into its own mould”.
The apostle Paul said that what was needed was for God to transform us by changing the way we think. This is incredibly radical but without it we will continue to be the same as we have always been. When Jesus met Nicodemus, a respected Jewish rabbi, he told him that he had to be born again. This sounded like nonsense to Nicodemus who couldn’t understand how he could possibly enter his mother’s womb for a second time. Jesus had to explain that the new birth that he was talking about was a new spiritual birth, which would lead to a new spiritual life.
The only way for our lives to be transformed is by allowing the Holy Spirit to shape our thinking. It will never happen by our own efforts and reflections.
The outcome of this transformative process is that we will know what God’s will is, and that must be the ultimate goal for all of us. Every day we need God’s guidance to ensure that we are living our lives to the full amidst all the challenges, difficulties and opportunities of life. Giving in to the world’s pressures will only end in disaster. Day by day we need to let God remould our minds from within.
In what particular ways has God transformed your thinking recently?
Loving Father, thank you that your Holy Spirit is constantly at work in my life helping me to think in ways that will glorify you. Amen
Photo – Silver Birch