I have a confession to make.
I am an absolute sucker for movies that involve the lead character getting a makeover. I am ready for the day my Genovian queen nana will come and say that I’m a princess, so that someone else can come along and fix my wardrobe, my toenails, my hair and my eyebrows.
I think there is a reason why nail, hair, and even eyelashes salon still exist (and keep popping up). We all love a good transformation. Whether it’s chopping our hair off, buying a new mascara, changing our nail colours or getting our eyebrows threaded. Or waxed. I won’t judge.
We all feel good knowing that something about us has changed.
I wish I could tell you that when you accept Jesus into your life, you can assign the work to someone else, and you can just sit back, relax, and wait for Jesus to take you to eternity.
But you can’t.
Jesus can touch your heart.
But guarding your heart is your responsibility.
Hello, Proverbs 4:23.
The Holy Spirit can lead you.
But you have to follow.
The Bible instructs us in Romans 12 to not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our minds]. Then [we] will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The thing about this transformation that Paul talks about in Romans is that it is not an external change like in Princess Diaries or Clueless.
I wish it was. But it’s not.
It’s an inward change, a process of unlearning and learning. We have to unlearn who we thought we were and learn about who He is, to learn about who we truly are (spoiler alert: you’re a child of God. And so am I). And as children of God, we are to reflect the Father’s glory, by refusing to be like the rest of the world. “Everybody is doing it” or “It’s normal” is not an excuse. We are in this world, but we are not OF it. This is not our home. If you’re under twenty, this is my practical advice for you to not be like the rest of the world: Be a nana. Be in bed by 10 pm. Just really think about it. I know that my “no” generally gets weaker and weaker after 10. So, I try to be in bed by then.
Eventually, I managed to set time aside to do quiet time in the morning. (Okay.. Sometimes I managed. Sometimes I struggled) This is how I see it: if I do my quiet time in the morning, then I’m already wearing the armour of God before the enemy tries to attack me, instead of scrambling to fit into the armour WHILE the enemy is attacking.
But sometimes, it’s not the enemy attacking.
Sometimes my mind is just as good at wandering as my feet.
It’s so easy to put the blame on the enemy, because at least it’s not our responsibility. When we can’t tell ourselves “No, stop that thought right there”, it’s easy to point the finger at the enemy.
But our thought-life is our responsibility. Philippians 4:8 says that we should only think about the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. What. A. Long. List. Doesn’t this imply that we can also think about things with the opposite of those characteristics?
Guess what? There is nothing more true, more noble, more right, more pure, more lovely, more admirable, more excellent, and more praiseworthy than God Himself.
How often is He in your thoughts?
If we are to honour God with our every single inch of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20), then we have to honour Him with the parts of our body that aren’t seen – our hearts and minds. Sometimes, the basics are the most important things.
Read the Bible.
Read it again.
Until thoughts of Him crowd out every other thought.
We have to let His Word wash out every other thought. We have to let His Word transform us from the inside out. The Holy Spirit’s role is to sanctify every believer, but you have to help Him help you. How can He remind you of His Word if you’re not reading it? How can He explain His Word if you’re not reading it? He is ready to renew our minds and replace it with new thoughts and new dreams – thoughts and dreams that are aligned with the Father’s. And then, we will be able to test and approve His good and pleasing and perfect will because our flesh – our minds – have bowed down. Because there is less of us, and more of Him
This transformation is more than just self-improvement. In fact, it’s not even about “self” at all. It’s to be transformed to look more like the Saviour. Some changes are rapid, and some are more slowly than others. But, eventually, every Christian will be able to tell a story of how God has changed them from the inside out (I mean… if you don’t have a testimony, then you have to ask yourself if God has really worked in you).
Eventually, every Christian will act and think like Christ.
I guess the goal is to look like Christ after all.