The list of ingredients in over-the-counter medications like aspirin usually includes one identified as the “active ingredient.” The rest serve a purpose, but the active ingredient makes the desired change—stops your headache.
We have been discussing ingredients in God’s program for change. All of those mentioned, salvation, discipleship, and commitment to manage our resources for maximum profit, provide the essential environment for change. However, today’s post identifies the active ingredient, the one that actually precipitates change. Romans 12:2 instructs,
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind….
Here Paul concisely specifies how to experience transformation, i.e., how to rid ourselves of problem aspects of our lives—problematic because they conflict with God’s design, and replace them with behaviors reflecting the nature of Christ.
How is this achieved? By renewing our mind.
Mind renewal encompasses two elements. It requires the development of a biblical worldview, an understanding of life from a biblical perspective. This should be achieved largely in the discipleship process. Though we are always refining our biblical worldview, discipleship should put the primary pieces in place.
The second, more dynamic aspect of mind renewal entails conforming our thought-life to that biblical worldview. Romans 8:5-6 teaches:
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
The Greek word for “mind” throughout this passage specifically refers to thought-life. My next post identifies the huge practical distinction between our worldview and thought-life, and the implications for change.