Legalism & “Renewing Your Mind”

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

One of the biggest challenges facing followers of Jesus Christ is that of the “renewing of your minds.” We are immersed in this world system, and we need a total reprogramming.  The way of Christ is different than what we see and are continually bombarded with in the media.  It takes much time and effort to “renew” our minds to a godly way of thinking.  And it is not going to involve hours dedicated to watching television, which only re-enforces the worldly values we want to reprogram (“conformed to this world.”)  Instead we need to spend those same hours in the word of God and prayer.

But we need to understand that the focus of genuine Christianity is NOT merely a legalistic: “Don’t watch tv!”  Rather it is that positively, we are to be committed to spending much time renewing our minds, and a heavy dose of Hollywood values is not part of that positive prescription! It is an entirely different attitude than the old fundamentalist prohibition without the positive substitution of constantly renewing the mind in God’s word.
“Do NOT be conformed to this world” — right.  But more importantly, “BE transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  One might put it this way: if you focus on what you ARE supposed to be doing, you just won’t have much time left to spend on all the “don’t’s”!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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