How to Have Lasting Change in Your Life
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)
If you want to have lasting change in your life, you need to refocus your mind.
Specifically, you need to change your thought patterns away from what you don’t want to focus on and toward what you do want to focus on. Because whatever you focus on is what you move toward.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NIV). That’s the blueprint you need in order to change your thought patterns. Let’s look at each part:
- “Do not conform.” How often do you let other people shape your life? God doesn’t want you to be like someone else; he wants you to be the person he made you to be. So don’t copy, don’t conform, don’t try to be like anyone else.
- “The pattern of this world.” Pattern means the model of everything you’ve learned in life. If you want to change, you have to change your pattern, or model of living, that you learned in your life. You need to replace the old, unhealthy pattern with a new one modeled after the life of Christ.
- “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Transformed is the same as the word we use for metamorphosis, the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. In the same way, God wants to transform you into a completely new person by renewing your mind.
How does this happen? The Bible tells you in Ephesians 4:22-24 “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV).
This means you are going to have to do some putting off and you are going to have to do some putting on—and the putting off has to happen before the putting on. It’s just like trying on clothes in a department store. Before you can try on the new stuff, you have to take off the old stuff.
Start today with beginning to let go of the old attitudes, thought patterns, and images you’ve been living with. Then get ready to put on the new garments God has for you.
Talk It Over
In practical terms, what does it mean to renew your mind?
How would you describe the pattern of living you learned early in your life?
What “old stuff” do you need to take off so that God can renew your mind?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.