“Do 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.” Romans 2:2 is a Scripture that is often cited.
It’s a reminder to Christians that their lifestyle, motives and behaviour should reflect the faith they follow. Sometimes, believers find it difficult to do so because of the cultural and social – and increasingly legal – pressures they face. However, we should always remember that believers have struggled with these pressures since the start of Christianity over 2000 years ago.
When contending with this issue, the following question must be asked: What does it mean to ‘conform to the world’? Christians conform to the world when they become worldly. 1 John 2:15-17 gives a brilliant definition of worldliness, stating, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
Believers are called to reject worldliness and embrace holy living. It can be challenging, but if we allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, it won’t be as difficult. Why? Because we’ll get the spiritual strength necessary to resist conforming. And how can one renew one’s mind? By participating in the spiritual disciplines that saints of God have always participated in when they want to live godly lives: prayer, fasting, Bible study, attending church and doing good works.