There’s a Bible verse that says that we should “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind….” What does that mean and how do you really do it? ♦
In my day job I consult and train companies and their sales organizations to be more effective. With a lifelong career in professional enterprise sales, sales management and now sales consulting and training, I’m fairly convinced that nothing changes at the individual sales rep or sales manager level until there is a real and specific mindshift.
In the sales productivity and effectiveness realm, a salesperson or manager needs to consciously be triggered to move from one mindset to another; that is, a transformation or renewing of a set of mental, verbal, and procedural skills and actions to a new level of quality and competency.
That’s how sales superstars are created and developed.
How to you get there? Practice, practice, practice.
It literally is a developed skill. Sales superstars (and companies) are not born that way; they are raised and developed through directed leadership, training, coaching, and repetitive opportunity practice and experience. At some point the light goes on for the enlightened individual and they realize what they do or need to do. There’s a mindset reset or shifting into a new gear that sets the path going forward. The mindshift-effect becomes clear as a bell. That salesperson is now a top performer wherever they go.
So what does this have to do with the Bible?
If you think about it, there’s a strong parallel with the mental shift that we should be experiencing once one crosses over into the spiritual realm of Christian faith. There’s an actual popular verse in the Bible that says that Christians should “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Here’s the entire verse in context at the beginning of the 12th chapter of Romans:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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 12: 1-2)
OK. Wow. What do I do with this? What does this really mean and how do I do it? Can this make me a Christian superstar?
A Transformed Sinner
First let’s be clear that this is not about producing Christian superstars. This is about developing lost and broken people (all of us) into humble and surrendered followers of Christ in faith and spirit. The result is a person pleasing to God in this life and beyond. A transformed sinner – the definition of a successful life in God’s economy.
Let’s break down this passage in light of some key questions and then address how this can be accomplished.
- Why the Mindshift? – the Apostle Paul, the author of Romans, first urges the change “in view of God’s mercy” – that is, the catalyst or reason for this new life is because of what God did for us. In chapters 9-11 he has been expounding on God’s all-embracing grace and mercy for both Jews and Gentiles. All mankind, undeservingly redeemed.
- What Action? – “Therefore” as a result of this gift, we’re to “offer [our] bodies as a living sacrifice.” This is actually the highest order of worship – “true and proper worship.” This is profound in that we are deemed “holy and pleasing to God” because of this humble submission or surrender of our whole selves, living and productive for His sake, not our own.
- What Options? – We do have an alternative. We can easily acquiesce to the ways of the world. We’re firmly directed to “not conform to the pattern of this world” as if there is a clear path of action that is so well-worn, attractive and seductive to many that have succumbed to it already. We are warned to not do this.
- What is the Mindshift? – We’re to actually “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” We may be influenced by our heart and body yearnings, but it is our mind-center that makes the ultimate decisions about what we do and say. Paul is speaking here of literal transformation by way of a renewing process of our minds which include faculties of perceiving, understanding, feeling, judging, and determining. Our life-view changes. We are actually renewing a Godly spiritual connection/perspective that’s been long severed.
- Then What? – If we experience this mindshift transformation/renewal, then we “will be able to test and approve what is God’s will.” A pretty amazing outcome, particularly given that it’s “good, pleasing and perfect.” That we assuredly “test and approve” is a curiously confident picture that our transformed life will be correctly aligned with God. Predicable blessings, in God’s perspective. Not a bad place to be.
An Action Plan
Granted, this choice for spiritual surrender and submission to God leading to a mindshift transformation and renewal is easier said than done. But achievable nevertheless by practice, practice, practice. As stated, the developing sales superstar will consciously yield to the epiphany of effectiveness and execute best-practices and improve knowledge and competencies through rote activity, accountability, deliberate preparation and study, and repetition of good habits, patterns, and processes.
Likewise we Christians, out of overwhelming gratitude for the grace bestowed on us can immerse ourselves in consistent and deliberate prayer and study and submission of heart, mind, body and soul to the God of our making who has redeemed, restored, and always loved us beyond question. As the Apostle Paul was transformed from the darkest of places, we too can be transformed and renewed through the practiced relinquishing of spiritual control of our minds to the good and perfect will of God.
Has your mind been transformed and renewed?
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! – Romans 11:33