Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Romans 12: 2
As the New Year begins, many of us think about New Year’s resolutions—maybe eating a healthier diet, exercising more, or quitting smoking. These are all good goals for taking care of our bodies, but what about our minds and hearts?
St. Paul throws out the gold standard for self-improvement: conforming—not to the world’s idea of what’s good, but to God’s idea of what good is. Sometimes they overlap. I’m pretty sure God would like us to take good care of the bodies he’s given us. On the other hand, sometimes God wants better for us than we do for ourselves. St. Paul invites us to set our sights on God’s perfect will for us.
We don’t have to be scared off by the idea of perfection. It’s not about forcing ourselves into some external measure of flawlessness. It is an entirely different process. Paul says “let God transform you inwardly.” It’s not up to us. God will transform us, and the change will come from the inside out. We don’t have to worry about external compliances as much as trusting God and surrendering to his power and love by opening ourselves and letting him in.
Maybe the most rigorous resolution we can make for the coming year is to devote ten minutes a day to spend in silence with God who has our best interest in mind.
Prayer: Lord, I trust you with my heart and mind.
Reflection: What is holding you back from surrendering to God’s love?
©Barbara Hosbach, 2017