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.
All of us see the world a certain way. Depending on any number of factors including our homes, families, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, and everything in between, we have a particular lens through which we see the world around us. Some of this is intentional, and some of it is wholly unconscious. As followers of Jesus, we are called to see the world as Jesus does.
Even as believers, we are being shaped and taught by the culture in which we live. What we hear, what we watch, and what we participate in informs how we see the world. This means we have to constantly evaluate the lens we are looking through. We have to ask ourselves: who are the voices that speak loudest in our lives, and how are they shaping the way we look at the world?
We live in a culture where open-mindedness and inclusivity are the pinnacle of enlightenment. To judge, criticize, or dismiss anyone on the basis of how they think or operate in the world is to be close-minded and intolerant. As believers, we are called to love and welcome everyone in the name of Jesus—even the people who don’t look, think, act, or vote like we do. But this doesn’t mean we get to sacrifice the truth of the gospel and the boundary lines of the kingdom that Christ gives us through His Word. How do we continue to move into a lost and dying world, while viewing that world through the lens of the gospel?
Paul would remind us that this begins with the renewing of our minds. It is impossible to account for the amount of information and messaging that we consume in a day. Yet, as much as we consume from the world and culture around us, we aren’t to be conformed to it. Believers aren’t meant to blend into this world but to point others to the world to come. This starts with a daily transformation in our minds and our thinking. How we think informs what we do. We need Jesus to shape the way we think so that our behavior follows suit. We need Scripture to sink into our bones each and every day so that it shapes the way we see the people and places around us. We need the Spirit to speak louder than the endless voices we hear from the world.
• How are you being shaped both consciously and unconsciously by the world and culture around you? Who are the voices and influences that shape your life the most?
• How can you posture yourself daily for the Lord to transform your mind and thoughts? How can you let His Word and His ways inform how you view the world and the people around you?
• Ask the Lord to transform your mind and your thoughts today. Pray that He would be louder than the endless noise of the world around you. Ask Him for eyes to see the world the way He does, so that you can better love others with the love of Christ.