And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:2).
A writer of Proverbs tells us that there is a way that seems right to a man, but the
end thereof is destruction. We live in a society that is propelled along by a self-seeking
mentality. One that employs each of us to find our own way, get all we can out of life, to
find the thing that makes us happy and make it ours. Slogans like, "Look out for
number one," have become popular within the last few decades, encouraging us to push
on toward success in this life. That is, success as defined by the world we live in.
Sad as it is, most of us have bought into the lies of our culture. So much so, that the
difference between the church and the lost community is hard to see. Some of the solid
lines that were drawn between perceived godliness and worldliness have become vague and in
some cases, almost nonexistent.
So what's the matter? The matter is that as we grow up in such a culture, the culture
becomes a part of us, so much so, that we are very much the product of our culture. Our
philosophies, ideals, and desires are shaped, molded and carved out of the clay our
culture consists of . As much as the people of this nation want to claim that we are all
individuals, there is an awful lot done to look, act, dress and live according to the
pre-established guidelines of cultural norms. Very few of us are indeed true individuals,
unaffected by societal sculpting. Being such, how we think is very much influenced by the
common societal mind-set. We think much like everyone else around us. And if we think like
those around us, then how we act or react to a given situation will be much the same as
those around us. How we solve problems, how we make a living and even how we raise our
children are all impacted by the thinking-style that is part of who we are because of
where we have grown up.
Needless to say, the thinking patterns that have become part of us have become intertwined
with every part of our being. And they affect every facet of our lives. The problem is
that much of the societal thinking which has infected us is not of God. Much of the how we
transact business, raise families, engage in friendships, choose where we will live and
work, etc. is thought out first in terms of our cultural thinking. Even our churches do
most of their business and financial planning based on such reasoning. Often what seems to
be the best business decision supersedes providential ministry.
Romans 12 tells us that we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That would
indicate a change in our old thought patterns. We abandon our old ways of thinking,
problem solving, business transacting, etc., and we adopt a new way of thinking as defined
in scripture. It won't be easy. We are use to handling things a certain way, and giving
that up takes hard work. Yet, if we are to find true successful living, we must learn to
do it God's way and find the strength to question our usual ways of doing
things--rejecting that which clashes with the Word of God.
Be certain that your so called "common sense" will take a beating. But I am sure
that if you are willing to abandon everything you have ever known, and trust God to guide
you, you will find the life that God has chosen for you--and you will know God's blessing
in your life to the fullest.
. . .I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly
(Jesus, Jn. 10:10).