Do not conform any longer 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. (Romans 12:2, NIV 1984).
My Musings – If you are a regular reader of my musings, you know that I’ve been thinking a lot about the polarization of our society — on so many things. Take politics (liberal versus conservative), and wealth (the shrinking middle class) for example. There has been an increasing paradigm shift away from the “normal” bell shape distribution, where most people converged to the center, to an inverted bell shape with divergence to the extremes.
These are “pattern[s] of the world.” As Christians we should conform to neither. The spirituality curve has an entirely different look.
A progression where we become “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind,” where we become increasingly “able to test and approve what God’s will is.” Many people mistake this as a process where we come to a point of acceptability to God, thus attaining salvation by our own efforts. In reality, that “plot point” is unattainable through a process of good deeds or becoming better and better at obeying God’s moral laws.
The correct “plot point” is not at the end of the curve, but rather at the beginning of the curve. That point is Christ. A singular point. There is no other point of entry. God’s “good, pleasing and perfect will” is that we come to Him through His Son. It is only from that point that the rest of the curve can take shape (“add to your faith [in Christ] in increasing measure“). We cannot become more like Him without first coming to Him. At that point we are “born again” spiritually. At that point we are God’s child. Nothing can add to or subtract from that. But He wants us to grow and mature.
My Advice – Get to the “point.” Accept Christ as your Savior. Then, the shape of things to come will be literally be out of this world. But you cannot get there by starting at any other point than Jesus.