Today's Lectionary Text
Romans 12:2Do not conform 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.
When I led a devotional with my intern group last week, I chose Romans 12:12 and discussed it in terms of ruts, but I feel like there’s so much left to interpret about this verse.
The first part of the verse really packed a punch in my eyes. As a very routine-oriented person, I love patterns and as a people pleaser, I tend to conform to what’s convenient for others. I conform to the patterns of the world, as Romans 12:12 would say. And if you’re a people pleaser, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Why do we do this? Why do we conform to patterns that are not for us? I don’t think the answer is simple, but a messy knot of many factors over time. We can say it’s the way that social media allows us to feel pressured or that women are taught by society to be convenient and willing to conform when we’re young, or maybe it’s just the way that God made us. We can examine the possible causes of this issue for days, and it’s important to explore so we can prevent future generations from facing the same struggles we do, but for those of us that already experience this, it’s vital for us to focus our energy on how to break this attitude towards patterns in our lives.
Scripture is a great source of stories where people were serving others before themselves and decided they wanted to liberate themselves. Romans 12:12 shows us that conforming to trends and patterns for others instead of for us isn’t honoring ourselves and it is not what God is wanting us to do.
I’m not saying start planning your routine or what you do in life without thinking about how it may affect people around you, but it is important to start planning your life to honor yourself as a person that God created.
I challenge you to ask yourself: Is my way of life made for me or for others? What aspects of the world am I letting impact the way I live? How can I honor being created by God with my life?
Micah Corp Intern
Prayer for Reflection
Merciful and loving God, thank you for giving us room to learn and grow every day. We are so thankful for how uniquely you made all of us, and we know that sometimes we forget that you made us perfect in our own way. We conform to trends and to what others want of us without thinking of ourselves. Help us to strengthen ourselves and to honor who you made us to be. Amen.
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