What does it mean to conform? A few definitions I found are “to act in accordance with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc. of society or a group.” “To adopt the form of those around you.” It is a verb, therefore it is an action that describes what we can do. We can conform to something.
What are some ways we conform? Maybe to house rules as we are growing up. Maybe to a new space as we go off to college or to an apartment. Maybe it is to another person we marry, and live with that has ways different from ours. Maybe we conform to a new schedule as we take on a new job or opportunity. There are many ways that we conform to people, places and rules on a daily basis. Most of the ways we comply may not harm us, but God warns us about conforming to the world in Romans 12:2
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and pleasing will of God.”
The opposite of conform is to depart, vary, disagree, dissent and rebel, to name a few. What is the “world” that this passage is referring to? We have to live here on earth, in this world, right? There are rules that everyone must obey. What should I disagree with or rebel from?
The “world” in New Testament teachings comes from the word *kosmos, “an orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively (morally)):–adorning, world.”
It also means—and we need to pay attention to this—“the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ, a source of moral corruption, a danger to the spiritual health & life of Christians.”
The leader of all the chaos and moral corruption is none other than Satan and his demons. He tries to lead us astray. He tries to fill us with rules that are against God, Satan then manipulates people to turn them into immoral laws that contraction God’s Word.
Romans 12:2 goes onto say that not only must we not conform, but we must transform. Transform is also a verb. Something that requires our action. It means to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of (especially for the better). It is to change, renew, reshape, or reorganize. I like these two definitions, to turn upside down, to stir up.
As Christians, we need to be careful not to be dragged into the false lull of doing “What everyone else is doing”. If God says it is wrong, it is wrong, no matter how many are participating in it.
We also have to stand up to laws that are against God and against life. We need to take a stand. We cannot afford to be silent. But how can we be transformed?
By the renewing of our mind, our thoughts, our ideas. We can read God’s Word and seek Him…Seek an on going relationship with Him as we learn His character. We can pray & ask for His wisdom to be discerning in who to vote for and things to research in our laws and government. We can ask Him for the strength to make our voices heard and He will give us the strength to carry out His purposes.
Father God, Help me not to let this world squeeze me into its’ mold, but may I allow You to transform me from the inside out as I meditate on and apply Your Word to my life. May I be able to discern Your will and make the correct choices that You want me to make to follow & fulfill Your purpose through me & to make a positive difference to around me. Amen.