Have we let the world squeeze us into its mould?

J B Phillips’ famous translation of Romans 12:2 is “Do not let the world squeeze you into its mould, but instead let yourself be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

It’s easy to apply this to the big things in life: immorality, drunkenness, pornography. But Paul has in view the subtle as well as the obvious, as the next chapters prove. And perhaps the best way to expose our failings in this area is to examine the things we do without thinking. It’s those things that show us what our mind is really like.

So, when you come home from work and slump onto the sofa? If you’re hand stretches for the remote control, then it’s likely that the world has squeezed you into its mould. But if your hand reaches for your young child, or to help your wife in the kitchen, or your eyes close in silent grateful prayer for another day spent in the presence of God, then it’s likely that your mind is being renewed.

If you’ve had a bad day, and are thoroughly fed up, and your hand reaches automatically for the fridge door or the cookie jar, then it’s likely that the world has squeezed you into its mould. But if your hand reaches for the Scriptures, and you open them at the Psalms or the Gospel accounts, then it’s likely that your mind is being renewed.

If you’ve been caught in an unexpected traffic jam and are now late for your meeting and your right foot goes down a little further and your speed creeps up, then it’s likely that the world has squeezed you into its mould. But if you stick to the limit, and pray that God would help you recover the time, and commit the day and your meeting into his hands, then it’s likely that your mind is being renewed.

If there’s pressure on at work, and you regularly stay longer than your contracted time, coming home late each evening then it’s likely that the world has squeezed you into it’s mould. But if you do all that you’re paid to do in the best way you can, and make it clear to your boss that family and church come before work, then it’s likely that your mind is being renewed.

If you get a promotion and your thoughts are of the conservatory you can build, the new car you can buy, or the exotic holiday you can have, then it’s likely that the world has squeezed you into it’s mould. If your thoughts are of the godly influence you can have, or the extra money you could give to the church or to the mission field, then it’s likely that your mind is being renewed.

So what of you? What of me? Has the world squeezed us into its mould? If so, then Paul’s help is clear. I need to take a view of God’s mercy, and offer my whole self to Christ. Whatever you want me to be, I will be. Wherever you want me to go, I will go. Whatever you want me to do, I will do. Here I am Lord, send me. I hold nothing back. Then, having given myself to Him, I must fill my mind with Him.

Comments

  1. Dear Mark

    Thanks for this. Not only did I need the reminder for my own life, but I have used it as a basis for a Year 10 Graduation talk to students.

    God bless you.

    Don

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