Realism of the Renewed

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind … Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment (Romans 12:2,3Open Link in New Window).

Paul admonishes believers to regard themselves with sober judgment according to the measure of faith given them by God. Dispassionate objectivity is a far cry from my normal pattern of thinking. I frequently compare myself with others to see whether I’m ahead or behind. I care a lot about what people think of me. I want to be successful and admired, respected and liked. These attitudes are not sober. Instead they are drunk with self-centeredness.

As a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, I am not to let my mind be consumed with such worldy thinking. By faith, I can be transformed by the renewing of my mind. By faith, I can regard myself with sober judgment. The emphasis is on faith. In the past, I thought of the command to “be transformed” as requiring draconian thought-control. I have not been however able to conquer selfish thought simply by relying on the strength of my mental abilities alone. I believe it can only be accomplished by faith in God and by identifying in my role as a member of the body of Christ.

Each one of us has been given a measure of faith and different gifts, not for ourselves; we are many members that form one body and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5Open Link in New Window). I must entrust myself to God and remember that I belong to the body of Christ and the other members also belong to me. This is the basis of family and the love of God.

Lord Jesus, by faith in You, I entrust my mind to You. Let it be transformed as I put my faith in You and identify myself with being a member of Your body. My skills are not for my own glory, but rather for Yours and for ministering Your grace to others. Give me the grace to regard myself with sober judgment and also to be devoted to my neighbor with brotherly love. In Your name, amen. 

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