“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” Romans 12:1-2, ESV.
Last year, the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to buy a farm. With that, came a long renovation process on the farmhouse, but my favorite part of the renovation project started yesterday—I finally get to start painting! Yes, some people think I am crazy, but I really do enjoy painting. Being able to change the atmosphere in a room by adding color, making something old look new, or finally finishing a project by adding a fresh coat of paint, gives me a good deal of satisfaction.
A pastor friend reminded us recently that paint illustrates a Biblical truth; there is a difference between transformation and conformation. Conformation is merely adding a new coat of paint on top of any existing issues to make something look better temporarily. Transformation is the actual work of peeling off any old paint or rust, patching holes or imperfections and then adding the paint to make something new. The real difference between the two is noticeable with time. Transformation stands the test of time, just like a good paint job on a well-prepared surface will stay looking new. Conformation, just covering up the old with something that looks new, will not stand up over time. Our pastor friend gave the illustration of a rusty metal chair. Sure, you can cover it with some Rustoleum, but the paint will flick off after a few uses and the rust will show through. If the chair is really going to be transformed, the painter needs to first sand off all the rust—get rid of it—and then prepare the surface, possibly with a primer or other metal preparation product, and then add the final coats of paint.
God asks us to be transformed. He wants us to look totally different and be able to stand the times in this world. He doesn’t want us to just adopt the world’s paint—to conform to the latest whim or sway with the cultural tides. He wants us to be transformed as people of Biblical principle, to know His ways and to walk in them. It may not be popular, but transformation keeps us moving forward, keeps us looking good in our spiritual walk, instead of letting the rust of sin and the flesh peel our paint job and make us look shabby. For me, personally, I prefer transformation. What about you?
Thought-provoker: Conformation or transformation? Which are we focused on today? Where do we need to allow God to sand off the rust and truly change us?
Lord, thank You that You are wanting transformation in our lives, and You are willing to do the work if we give you permission. Change us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.