What We Have in Common With Butterflies
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
Scrolling through Facebook is something I do each morning while I eat breakfast. I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to. I respond to a few posts that make me happy or laugh, and at times I pray when someone’s post s an urgent prayer request. But when I come across a post with an opposing view on an issue, I tend to do one of two things. I either shout my opinion aloud (as if they can hear me), or in a few cases, I have commented, and not in a positive way. We can certainly end up doing something we wouldn’t normally do these days. Social media has a way of bringing out the worst in us. This year alone has proven it.
As Christians, we are to be different and should be a light to those around us, not conforming to this world's conduct. Paul wanted to make that clear to a group of Christians in Rome. He writes a letter to them and tells them this. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. We do this first by transforming. The Greek uses the word “metamorphoo,” meaning “to change into another form.” This is how we get the word metamorphosis commonly associated with the transformation of butterflies and moths. Christ-followers are to change into someone else, into a new person.
Isn’t it interesting that it’s not us who transform ourselves but God who transforms us? The caveat to this is we must be willing to let God transform us, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us to bring about change.
Tony Evans, a well-known pastor, clarifies how a Christian’s life should look like when he says, “Christians are to live their lives in a way that their actions come together to form the picture of salvation. Salvation is a gift, and for the Christian already exists. The goal of living the Christian life is to arrange one’s lifestyle so that it now looks like the existence of a person saved by grace.”*
The next time we encounter a situation that’s not so delightful, such as an opinionated social media post or the “know-it-all” in the next cubicle, what should we do? Here are a few suggestions that may help.
1. Pause before reacting or doing anything.
2. Think. Is how you want to respond going to improve or alienate the situation further?
3. Pray for wisdom.
Let’s be reminded again. We are to transform, reflecting the love and grace of Jesus; always.
*quote from page 37 Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations