The self-help book industry is now a $769,000,000 market. Wait…that’s just the audio books. Just the audio and not counting the paperbacks? The entire self-help market is over $10 billion. (APA figures via marketresearch.com) So what? Many people want to improve their lives. The particular things in life that people want to modify vary from person to person, but pretty much everyone wants to improve something. God calls on us to start over.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12.2) There are two things in this verse we will look at for the purposes of this article.
“Be transformed”. We are supposed to become something different than we were. Something that focuses on God. The previous verse discusses giving ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, to God. At this point I refer you back to the self-help section of this prose. Becoming more like God is a directive that does not contain a method. HOW we become living sacrifices is left up to us. Must I stack several scores of scriptures that encourage us to pick up our cross and follow? No we know the directive, but that method. Here is where I lose many of you- to get different results you must do something different.
“Renewal” is the second point. Thankfully, we are told to renew our minds, not clothing, surroundings, etc… Imagine what a financial strain that would put on many congregations- always changing things. But we are supposed to renew our minds. By that I am sure the Roman writer is requiring self-evaluation. How? Self-stimulation. We must increase in our service to God and one another. Perhaps we should take singing classes, or college English courses to learn more about literary stuff- since we will be reading a text (the Bible). Renewal does not mean “do it again”. It implies freshness.
Lastly, Hebrews 10.24 tells us to “stir up one another”. What are you stirred up about? What has provoked your heart lately? You are not alone. Ask. Seek. Knock.