Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I’m very fortunate to have lots of friends. One of the most important groups of friends I have are my old school friends, who, for reasons I haven’t got space to explain here, now go by the collective name of the Old Tratonians. We had lots of adventures together whilst we were at school, and continue to do so to this day. As a consequence of spending so much time together, we’ve gradually moulded and shaped each other, and have developed a kind of group consciousness. Since most of us are Christians, this has been particularly helpful over the years, and has been a great encouragement to me in my faith.
It is often said that we are shaped by the people we spend time with. Here in this verse from Romans, we are told that we should strive not to be like the worldly people around us; we are warned about allowing them so shape and mould our ideas. Instead, we are commanded to “be transformed by the renewing” of our minds. If we are influenced by those we spend time with, it therefore makes sense that we should try to spend more time with God – through studying his word and listening to him. In that way, we will become more like him.
Most significantly of all, if we spend time with God, and allow him to shape how we think, we can understand what God’s will is – for his people, and for us specifically. One of the major benefits of doing God’s will is made clear in our current Mark Marathon article, when Jesus comments that “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
What could be better than being able to count Jesus Christ as our brother?