“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.”
Every day has 24 hours, each week has seven days; and while the length of months may vary, each year has twelve months. It is a pattern that has persisted and served the majority of humanity very well. Our cultures and societies in other places and in other times may have had a different system, but each of those systems of marking the passage of time became a pattern also.
When someone does you wrong, it is human nature to want to do something back to them. Each time a rule or law is bent or broken, there is someone there to reprimand the the offender (or at least that is what our pattern of justice strives for). For every action there is a consequence; that is what the law of physics states. There are patterns in material, society, biology and physics. What pattern are we not to conform to?
It is a rhetorical question I know. And I do know the answer. But it is helpful to think about exactly what pattern that the writer of Romans is referring to. If we know the pattern that should not be conformed to, then it should be a simple matter to not conform to it. Ah, but there is the rub! Breaking that pattern of conformity does not mean just re-writing the rules of society, but re-writing the patterns of human nature. Will put his finger on a very apt application of this yesterday; vengeful-ness, revenge and retribution. There is also the impulse to do wrong and all manner of sinful actions.
Renewing our minds would mean overhauling the entire human psyche. But that does not mean we would or should be without a pattern to follow. We are to conform and follow the pattern of the Divine’s. It does not have the same values or priorities that the human one has. But then the human pattern does not seem to be doing all that well anyway. Maybe it is time for a change.
May you gentle reader adopt God’s pattern of life as you own. Selah!