Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to start changing their life by following Jesus Christ is they keep filling their minds with the same stuff they used to fill it with before.
Let’s say for example, we have a car that we have never changed the oil in the engine, and the oil is dirty and filled with grime and stuff. Well, the engine isn’t going to run very well on that old cruddy oil. So, we decide to take that oil out of the engine and clean the engine. So, we drain the oil and leave it in a bucket in our garage, but we don’t put any good new oil in, we just try to run the engine without oil. The engine may run for a few minutes without any oil, but pretty soon it’s going to start overheating and burning up. But, rather than getting new oil, we just decide, “Well, the engine didn’t run very well with the old oil, but at least it ran!”, and we just pour the old oil back into the clean engine. Before long, that engine that we cleaned is going to be dirty and filled with gunk again, because we just put the bad oil back in it after we cleaned it. The engine would have run a LOT better if we cleaned it and put NEW oil in it, and got RID of the BAD oil!
The same is true with our Christian lives. When we come to know Jesus Christ, we have to get rid of the bad stuff in our lives. But – we also have to replace the bad with good!
In Romans 12:2, it says to be not “conformed” to the world. That means to fashion one’s self according to the lifestyle and customs of the world. But it says then, to be “transformed”, which means to change into another form. As a Christian, we are to change the way we live. And then the writer goes on to tell us how to do that – “by the renewing of your mind.” How do we “renew” our mind? By just keep watching the same garbage we used to watch? By just keep reading the same stuff we used to read? By just listening to the same stuff we used to listen to? NO – we RENEW our minds, by changing what we put into it. We now spend time reading God’s Word. We pay attention to the kind of stuff we watch on TV and at Movies, does what we watch honor God? If not – STOP watching it! Does what we listen to on the radio please God? If not – STOP listening to it. However, don’t just stop and do nothing! Stop and REPLACE the bad with good. Start spending time listening to GOOD stuff. Start spending time reading GOOD books, Start spending time doing GOOD things.
Sure, it’s NOT easy to do this. That’s why we have to spend time daily in prayer and Bible study and asking for GOD to help us do right. And we have to make a conscious effort to change! Get rid of the BAD oil, and replace it with GOOD oil!
To follow Jesus Christ completely is a daily battle with our old self. And we keep saying, “Well, I’ll make that change later, it’s not going to hurt me if I just keep doing what I know is wrong.” Well, if we keep saying that long enough, we’re NEVER going to change our lives, and we’re NEVER going to find the awesome and amazing joy and peace that Jesus Christ offers to all who follow Him!
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24,25)
The Christian life isn’t about US….It’s about JESUS, and following HIM! In order to do that successfully, we have to CHANGE the way we live, and RENEW our minds.