In just a few days from the writing of this column the New Year will be upon us. As I think about the coming year, I am certain that this year will be a year of transitions. Politically and economically our society will be making some major changes. Politically our changes are controlled and expected. For 222 years we have experienced this orderly exchange of power after every election. Economically our changes are unexpected and catastrophic. Every day the market reacts to sour business reports or precautionary efforts of the government to bailout the ailing economy.
In this time of transition, I wonder how many of us have given thought to the spiritual transition of our hearts and minds. I think of Romans 12:1-2 where Paul’s instruction to us is that we offer ourselves as living sacrifices. He also tells us not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do this? For one thing we must become serious about the transition that must occur. Transition involves change. Transition demands difficult and painful decisions about traditions. Think of the change in the political landscape of the country. The president-elect does not plan to implement his policies with the same team of players as the former president. Similarly no company realistically can expect to offer the same benefits and service as they did before this economic downturn began.
For us to have a Romans 12:1-2 transformation we must look to the goal of our efforts, glorifying God with our living witness to Christ. This does not mean that we emulate Christ so perfectly that God accepts us. It means that we trust Christ so much that we do not rely on ourselves but Him. We must make changes in our routines and in our associations. We may need to make painful choices about what habits we may need to forfeit. More than anything else we should realize that our transformation depends on our relationship with Christ!