Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. Romans 12:2
Have you ever self-justified an action, words uttered, or a direction of life? Of course you have! We all do. Our minds have an amazing ability to take that which is not right and make it sound logically right in our own head. This is the challenge of living faithfully—we are shaped by a self-preservation equation where we seldom want to believe we are wrong, have done ‘evil’, or are at fault for the life we find ourselves living.
To live faithfully is truly an act of courage. To courageously be honest with one’s self and to admit that we don’t always get it right…and sometimes we purposely seek to protect our ego (remember, ego can mean, Edging God Out!) at the expense of our soul and/or another’s well-being. Please don’t take this as a preacher beating up on your failings. Instead, it is a fellow misfit trying to live faithfully in the midst of maturing into faith.
This phrase of Paul has gotten a lot of air time in the Church. I think it is important, for our minds eye is both the conscious and the unconscious. And by which do most of our decisions actually flow? I would dare say the unconscious. That is where the defense mechanisms, the self-justification, the worldview and the patterns of our lives are found. Truth be told, that is why it is so hard to change! These ingrained parts of us are deeply implanted and take great work to reprogram.
Yet, it is possible. It is through reflecting on our responses, our attitudes, our prejudices, our cultural biases, etc., that we begin to see where we need the Spirit’s touch to free us from unhealthy and/or unfaithful patterns and begin maturing into the wondrous person you have been handcrafted to be! Yet this is scary. We don’t always want to open the closet doors of the past to free that which is haunting us. We don’t always want to see the imperfect reflection of one’s self in the conflict of life. And yet, without it, we never find wholeness, forgiveness and peace. Therefore, today spend some time reflecting on this passage. What do you hear? What is the Spirit’s whisper saying to you?