If you’ve never experienced a Wisconsin winter, you will not understand how good a 65-to-70-degree day feels. Windows open, coats are removed, you stay outside as long as possible and enjoy the warmth. But, if you have experienced a Wisconsin spring, you know that you don’t put your coat away. For cold temps are still happening and those warm days are never consistent until May.
And if you see a robin, don’t get excited. There is an old wives tale that says it must snow three times on the robins back before Spring will come. That tends to be true, as we’ve had snow four times since the first day of Spring.
The season of Spring is an amazing, wonderful, even joyous time. It is a time of new life, both in plant and animal.
It’s also a time of transformation. Winter is a very easy time to fall into mindless ruts and dull routines. December is all about Christmas and there’s magic in the air. But come January through March, those are the blah months.
Then come April or May, the weather gets warmer, buds start to come out, birds are making nests and doing other springtime activities. You can’t help but feel giddy, knowing spring is near. Spring is the perfect time to transform and renew right along with the season.
By now, I bet many people’s goals and resolutions they made back in January have fallen to the wayside. Now is the time to get back on track and renew yourself. Romans 12:2 says
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
How often do we conform to something because it’s easier than doing the right thing or simply less work?
The word ‘conform’ in this passage refers to assuming an act or even putting on a front, and it does not reflect what is inside.
We tend to conform to the world’s standards, beliefs, and ways because it is easier, even though on the inside we know it’s wrong. If we don’t conform, we tend to stick out in a crowd, and then you have to explain yourself, and then people think you are weird. It’s a whole thing and an ordeal, and we don’t want to deal with it, so we just try and blend and conform to the crowd.
But, take a step back, look at the world, and its corrupt ways, is that what you want to be conformed to?
Though it is not just the world we conform to. It’s bad habits, slacking, not going the extra mile, saying “I’ll do it tomorrow,” and never do, and simply slipping into a mindset of meh.
We need to look at the inside and see what’s in our hearts. If we are acting and talking one way, but our hearts do not reflect the outside, something needs to be done.
As Christians, we are going to stick out in the world. That’s just the way it is.
But, if we have fallen into a state of meh, and what do we do? Where’s the solution? The first step to change or renewal of any situation or habit is admittance. Admitting we’ve conformed to the wrong actions and beliefs would be the best place to start.
When we set new year goals, we are analyzing our lifestyle and habits to see where we can improve. We need to take the same step and look at our actions, behavior, and daily habits and have a heart-to-heart with ourselves.
And it will not be pleasant. Who wants to admit we have faults? That we need improvement? No one in the history of man has ever stood up and said “I’ve got pride issues!” “I’ve got a short fuse!” “I’m a lazy person!” No person is going to willingly say or admit any of that. Well, it’s time to rip the bandage off, and come face to face with the ugly truth we carefully keep buried; we’ve got issues. That’s the bad news, the good news is we can transform.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
The Greek word, from which the English word ‘metamorphosis’ comes, signifies a change in an outward appearance. We associate the word ‘metamorphosis’ with the butterfly. A butterfly does not start life as a butterfly; it begins as an egg, then it grows into a caterpillar, then turns itself into a cocoon, and then it becomes a butterfly.
One very common excuse we fall back on when it comes to our habits or behaviors is ‘I can’t change, this is just the way I am.’ Well, that could not be farther from the truth. We have the power of Christ within us. A power that is not limited, but we often limit it. Either because we don’t have enough faith, we don’t believe, or we are just plain lazy. We need to have the desire to change. To transform our bad habits for good ones, and we do that by renewing our mind.
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Our minds are very powerful instruments. And we often underestimate how powerful it is. There is a common statement that goes ‘you are what you think you are.’ If we think of ourselves as weak, we will believe it and become weak. If we believe ourselves to be lazy, worthless, useless, or whatever. We will believe it.
It’s very easy for Satan to plant seeds of negativity and doubt in our minds if we already have a toxic mindset going.
But, that’s not what God wants. So, it’s time to renew our minds. How? We stop the toxic thought pattern by allowing the Holy Spirit to change our mind, through consistent study and meditation of the scriptures and prayer. By putting on the whole Armor of God. By filling our minds with whatever is true, lovely, praiseworthy, and so forth.
One of the best ways to fill our minds with such things is reading a Psalm a day. It brings much renewal because a lot of the Psalms start with praise or affirmations that remind us where to set our minds.
Psalm 9:1-2 says
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
It all begins with “I will.” Not “I might” or “tomorrow I will,” “No! I will”. Right now, I will praise, tell, be glad, rejoice, sing. Let that be your mind’s thought cycle. Constantly reminding you to have your mindset on the goodness of God and not toxic thoughts.
The transformation will not happen overnight. We will mess up, fall back on bad habits, but the key is to never give up. We all stumble, just don’t stay down. Get back up and continue.
When we transform our thinking and let the Holy Spirit in, we will not care if we stand out by not participating in toxic habits or beliefs. Because living a transformed life, for God, should be our main goal and resolution. The time is now to renew and transform. Everyone has room to improve. Don’t put off things until tomorrow, because that tomorrow never comes. Do it today.