Sunday, April 27, 2008

Conformed or transformed, Message edition

We spent hours today on our marriage retreat basking in God’s presence, which came at no extra charge with a perfect beach weather day—sunny, clear, with just enough breeze and shade to chase away the sweat. Rachelle and I spent a lot of time alone as individuals, and then as a couple, meditating on this passage (Eugene Peterson’s Message-version take on Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-2):

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

It led me to a contrast between conforming to the culture and being transformed by God. Here’s some of what I pray God will teach me to discern as I grow as a person, a husband and Daddy:

Conformed to the world/culture (“so well-adjusted to the culture that I just fit in without even thinking”)

Transformed by the renewing of my mind (“attention fixed on God, changed from the inside out”)


Whole-person love





Self-righteous, taking self seriously

Humble, taking self playfully

Alcohol/caffeine for mood control

Prayer/thanksgiving to quiet or wake up the soul


Compassion, listening



Thinking of me

Thinking of God and His kids (including myself)




Love, security


Entering God’s playground

Avoiding discomfort

Embracing growth

Doing it yourself

Being it by grace







Looking good

Looking at God

Pride in what I do

Gratitude for Who God is and who he is making me to be

God grant me grace to live on the right side of these dichotomies, to refuse to conform to the mediocrity that surrounds us, and be transformed by you. Help us raise our kids in the Spirit of this transformation.

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