For several weeks, my hair has been moving in the skunk direction, as the white streak on my part is growing more and more conspicuous. In full disclosure, which doesn’t bother me in the least, my hair is entirely grey if not altogether white. I inherited the pre-mature grey thing from my dad, discovering my first grey hair when I was 13 or 14 years old. And someday, in the not very distant future, I’m going to let my hair grow out and revel in the grey, but not quite now.
In the meantime, during the COVID lockdown, getting my hair dyed wasn’t possible so I enjoyed wearing my NY Yankees hat with no concern for color, style, nor appearance. But alas, I was able to get my hair dyed and I’m no longer doing Halloween in the Spring, doing a skunk impression.
Here’s something interesting to consider: the change to having grey hair is gradual and almost imperceptible to me since the growth is extremely small over a long amount of time. In contrast, the recent dye job covered up the skunk streak in about two hours, giving an almost instant transformation.
So here’s my point: transformation can happen slowly over time and be virtually unnoticed. Transformation can also happen rapidly and be a sharp contrast very quickly.
I’m bringing this to your attention because of Paul’s words in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
In this verse, Paul tells us to be transformed and this comes from the Greek word from which we have our word, metamorphosis – “to be changed or transformed.”
The change that Paul is discussing in this verse isn’t an external change, like getting my hair dyed, or losing weight, or wearing makeup, etc. Paul is telling us to be changed in our thinking: how we think, the way in which we perceive ourselves and the world around us, along with mental narratives and assumptions we make. Instead of thinking like the world around us thinks, possibly being fearful, anxious, panicky, arrogant, independent, insecure, etc., Paul tells us to think differently.
So how do we change our thinking? Paul says we change our thinking by renewing our minds. This word “renew” in the Greek is anakainosis and it has the idea of making new in quality. So how do we renew our minds to be a new quality of thinking?
I would propose that we do two things to renew our minds:
- Ask Holy Spirit to bring transformation to our thinking and give Holy Spirit access to our perceptions, assumptions, mental narratives and outlook.
- Start memorizing some Bible verses and thinking about these verses throughout each day.
Perhaps for a good starting point, you could memorize Philippians 4:6-8 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
As you begin to renew your mind, you’ll see some really cool transformations – some of them will be very significant contrasts and some of them will be a more incremental spread over some time. Let’s celebrate that with God’s help, we can change our thinking and grow closer with God through this transformation!