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Not Conformed but Transformed

Lent 2023

Read Romans 12:1–8

1 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. 2 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.

3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

I therefore urge you, brothers and sisters, through the mercies of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice that is living, holy, and well-pleasing to God; this is your reasonable worship. And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may test and discern what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

At some level, everyone wants to fit in. We want to belong to a group and find comfort in a shared identity. Unfortunately, many people look to conform themselves to the wrong thing. They yield to peer pressure or societal norms. They conform to the world. While this may feel like we fit in, it often means that we are out of step with God.

St. Paul appeals for something better. The ways of the world always fall short of God’s desires and his good plans for us. So don’t be conformed to the world. Be transformed – changed into something better. This is not by our own efforts. We are transformed by the mercies of God. By his Holy Spirit, he transforms our minds, and by his word, empowers us to know his good and perfect will.

When we are transformed, everything in our life, even the way we use our bodies, can be blessed by God. This is so valuable, that Paul calls it a form of worship. We worship God with transformed lives that honor him and bless others.


Merciful God, you have transformed me by your Holy Spirit. Grant that everything I do today gives honor to you and is a blessing to others. Amen.

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