Renew your mind and the rest will follow.

For the “Change” theme of the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge this week, which I chose, I wanted to share one of my favorite verses.

“2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2a)

A lot of people stop at this point in the reading. I’ve heard this partial verse preached on a number of times, but I always have my Bible out to read further. You see, I understand something many preachers don’t preach about.

The writings of the Bible were done as letters, not books, chapters, and verses. One sentence leads into the next. I like what some pastors say, if you see a “Therefore” in the Bible, it means it’s “there for” a reason. With this verse, you look at the next sentence.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2b)

Now that your mind is not polluted by the goings on of the world, you will be able to see for yourself the truth of God’s will. Polluted is a strong word. However, I’m not certain what other word to use when I think about what happens when the TV, movie, and music influences begin their work on an individual. Tiger Woods didn’t become a sex addict by watching Bugs Bunny or Andy Griffith. He became corrupted by everything around him that fed his ego and appetites.

In the Bible there have been headings added within the created chapters. This can break up meaning at times.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3)

Here you see a continuing explanation of the Romans 12:2a. Paul is reminding us that even with the renewing of our minds, our new unpolluted selves, we are still not higher than anyone else, and are only as good as we are by the faith God has given us.

We need to be on guard to not allow the pollution in. We worry about the ozone layer, climate change, and landfills, but we care little about the one true unique resource on earth, ourselves. Each of us is unique. You could have a twin and they are not exactly like you even if they look and sound like you. Perhaps they even walk and move like you do, they are still not exactly like you.

You are thinking unique thoughts. Those thoughts can be for a good reason or not. Not every thought needs to be for the betterment of the world. Dreams and fantasies exist to help our minds cope with a world that is not like we are.

There are people out there who hear the word Christian and automatically think of stereotypes brought about by a small, but visible/vocal minority. It’s kind of like when they have that local on the ground interview about a robbery or natural disaster and for some reason the news reporter picks the most illiterate and socially inept person they could find to put in front of the camera. That’s what happens with Christianity. We end up with the vocal and media seeking individuals representing us.

Christianity is a personal thing. One on one. It’s not a group think, or a group mind thing. It’s not the exact same thing for any two people. My thoughts differ from others in my own home. I have a more understanding nature than some. I look at things below the surface and don’t pass judgement. Yes, I will say something is bad when I believe it is bad. Beating a child is bad. If you say it is good, then I think you have a problem. If you say that it might be okay for the society that person doing the beating lives in, then I say that society is bad. If that is being judgemental, call me guilty. I generally take things on a person by person basis.

Change. Do you want to change how you think, what you think, what you think is acceptable? Renew your mind, however you want to. Hit your reset button about what you think is acceptable. I’m not saying become a Christian. I’m saying reset your humanity button. Do you watch porn? Do you look at images on the internet? Do you watch or listen to things promoting degradation of women? More than likely you do and don’t even think you are. That means you support it.

The rest button is a hard thing to do. You’ll hit it several times. But eventually—eventually, the habits you develop from your intentional training of your mind will lead to a permanent change in your heart as well.


You can check out my other Change post on the prompt post HERE, as well as seeing links for other entries.


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My Sunday Thought: The Year of Renewal

I believe I’ve spoken of a pastor friend of mine before who brought me fully into a love of studying the Bible. He has his own ministry now that he is retired in which he teaches Apologetics in Oklahoma. I greatly enjoy Apologetics as it goes so hand in hand with my love of History. One verse that is key to his ministry is;

Romans 12:2
Do not conform 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 wanted to share this verse with you today as the final My Sunday Thought of 2014. I would like for you to look around at the world today. Look at what is popular on television and in the various forms of media.

Now take Fifty Shades of Grey and give it to your 10 year old to read. I know many of you are likely thinking this book is for adults only. I slip into that vein of thought at times when I write some of my poetry not that there have been many that could not be shared and yes, even in a Romance I’ve written there are scenes that are a bit much at times, not yet published nor revised by me. But does it make it right? Does the fact of the existence of something in a society make it right?

We should be able to hold ourselves up proudly at any moment and look at people and say “Do not throw me in with the swine you have made yourself to be.”

There is truly nothing of this world, the popular world that I care to be a part of. What do I want filling my mind? Do I want negativity and hatred or positivity and encouragement? Do I want skewed views of every single moment of life that is played out and inflamed according to media direction for the purpose of ratings when they could be trying to help a situation or do I want that which will give me hope and give me the ability to love every creation of God on this planet as a creation of God regardless of my dislike for who or what they are? Do I want to be an instigator or a mediator?

People don’t agree with my ideas. They believe they are a bit extreme. I believe we should not fill our minds with the trash that music has become, the movies, the literature. Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone has the choice to do as they wish. There are a lot of aspects of life that should be portrayed in literature but done wisely. I simply believe that I have the choice to not fill my mind with some of it. I even suggested to people at my church, in ministry leadership positions that we should try to not support industry that supports all of the things that are a negative influence. We should not buy our fuel from stores that sell pornography. All I received from that was a nodding of the head with the “but” look to it. How could we ever possibly do that?

I am aware of the things, I just choose not to fill my mind and life with them. As the new year approaches give the idea of renewing your mind a consideration. Fill your life, your mind with positives so you may be a positive influence. Introduce the idea to your friends and family as well. Don’t be down on someone when they do listen to something or watch something. You just choose not to participate. Have your own music with you, a book. Or be like me and carry earplugs everywhere and then you don’t have to listen to anything or anyone you don’t want to. Yes, I have a medical excuse but so do you. You don’t want to be filled by the ill.

What you eat fuels your body. If you feed it junk your body will quickly lose energy. It stands to reason you think what you fill your mind with. What do you what fueling your mind?

In closing I am making my 2015 The Year of Renewal. A renewal of focus on those things that are most important to me and most important to my future. If you choose to travel along with me perhaps you will see that renewal playing out here in the pages of Ronovan Writes.

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