Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Being Transformed

Photo by Dick Williams
I am but a mere toddler in the field of gardening, but I love seeing the flowers I plant transform from seeds and seedlings into beautiful blooms. Their delicate blossoms and wonderful fragrance put a smile on my face every time. I tend to place my plants in areas where I can see them from our family room so I can enjoy their beauty and be daily reminded to water them.

Inevitably, among my flowers, weeds sprout up. Sometimes, when the plants first emerge from the ground, my untrained eyes can’t tell the weeds from the flowers.

As Christians, we are God’s flowers in the garden of the world. God plants us where it gives Him the most pleasure. But sometimes I am slow to bloom and can be hard to distinguish from those who are not following Jesus.

Photo by Pam Williams
In Romans 12:2, Paul warns, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.” When we allow God to be the strongest influence in our lives, rather than the world around us, then we “will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”

How can we open ourselves to God’s transformation? Philippians 4:8-9 shares the key: “Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”

Guarding our minds requires two steps. Like weeding the garden, keeping out what can negatively impact us is the first step. This varies to some degree by individual, but many of these “bad influences” are obvious. Second, like watering our plants, we need to take a proactive role in inputting what is good in God’s eyes by reading His Word, listening to Christian teaching (whether from teachers, preachers, writers, musicians, etc), and contemplating those things that are pure and lovely and honorable.

When we fill our minds with the things of God, they will take root and bring about positive change. Our thoughts, our words, and our actions will become more pleasing to God and our faith will grow and blossom. Don’t you think that puts a smile on God’s face?

Be encouraged!

 ©2016 Pamela D. Williams