from Lynda Lindsey
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—-this is your spiritual act of worship. 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. Romans 12:1-2
A dressmaker’s pattern or an architect’s blueprint is a helpful tool, without which clothing would fit poorly and buildings would be unstable. It is expected that seamstresses and builders don’t willfully change the given pattern. Christians, however, are expected to be non-conformers, deliberately trading in our old lifestyle patterns for new ways of living! Before we knew Christ, we lived only to please ourselves; now we live to please Jesus.
Believers, dead to sin and alive in Christ, have God’s Holy Spirit living inside, enabling our new-way-of-living endeavor. We are transformed, made new, including our mind and our way of thinking. Once arrogant and selfish with an exaggerated sense of our own importance and abilities, or unhealthily thinking too little of ourselves, we now see ourselves as God sees us: a valuable part of His family and His kingdom.
The more we learn about God the easier it becomes to lay aside former patterns of behavior. Thus the importance of being surrounded by believers. Together we grow into disciples or followers of Christ. We are gifted by God individually and collectively, each belonging to the other. Together we employ our energies and resources serving God and building His church. We use our gifts and abilities diligently, cheerfully, and generously for God’s glory, one person’s strengths counterbalancing another’s weakness. Collectively we grow in grace and are both transformed and non-conformed. And so it goes!