As Christians, we are disciples of Christ who are committed to learning His truth and following His directions. We are to become Christ-like in our character by renewing our mind with the truth of God’s Word.
Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform any longer 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.”
Renewing your mind is more than just acquiring Bible knowledge. There are four steps involved in the process of renewing your mind: Receptivity, Comprehension, Conviction and Transformation.
Step 1 : Are you receptive?
Receptivity requires being open-minded about God’s truth and its implications for you. It means asking yourself the question, “Am I willing to let God’s truth change me and my life?”
God does not reveal His truth to satisfy our curiosity but rather to provide direction. If God sees that you are not willing to obey Him, then there’s no point in revealing more to you. God reveals truth to us when we have a humble and submissive attitude.
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. (Psalm 86:11, NLT)
Step 2: Do you understand?
Comprehension indicates that you understand what a truth means and how it relates to your life. Part of the process of comprehending truth involves asking yourself one or more of these questions: “What new truth have I become aware of through reading my Bible, going to church, and/or listening to other Christians?” “What does this truth mean in relation to what I think, say and do?” “What are the consequences of not applying this truth to my life?”
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. (1 Peter 1:14-15, NIV)
As we comprehend truth, we are able to apply it to our lives in meaningful and positive ways.
Step 3: Are you convinced?
When you have conviction, you believe that a particular truth is important to your well-being. You’ve asked yourself the question, “Why am I convinced that it is important to apply this revealed truth to my life?” Answering that question will help you move to the next step of transformation.
Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:31-32, NIV)
His truth can free you from destructive attitudes and actions that have up to now controlled your life.
Step 4: What will you do?
Step four is where you finally take action by applying a particular truth to your life and rejecting any corresponding lies from Satan. This is when transformation takes place. To start this stage of the process ask, “What steps will I take to apply this truth to my life? “Am I allowing Satan to use fear or difficulties to prevent me from following through with this step of application?” “Am I allowing other concerns or my desire for wealth, pleasure or popularity to distract me from following through?”
James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
It’s so easy to settle for head knowledge. But knowledge alone will not change you. That knowledge must effect your heart or you won’t change.
God says we are transformed, or changed, by the renewing of our mind. This renewal is only possible with our investment of time and willingness to work through the process. This is how life-altering transformation takes place.