When Romans 12:2 say ” do not conform to the patterns/ standards 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 pleasing and perfect will” what does it really mean not to conform? This is a verse i have memorised since my Sunday school days and most of you who are Christians must have memorised this verse at some point. But what does it really mean? do we really understand these terms ” conform” and “Be transformed” ?
On 17th January this year, exactly 10 days after my birthday, i resigned from what many would call a good job and i agree with them it was a good job, it was a job i loved and enjoyed doing. As a sales manager i was driving sales numbers and i was never worried of targets because targets are there to be achieved and the future looked brighter given the planting work my strong and close knit team and i had done. By all means i would say i was successful.
The norm in the society is that you resign when you have another job or when you already have a business ready for you to jump into. Apparently i decided not to get another job because i needed some few months to reflect as i re energise and plan for the next season in my life. Of course this has left most of my colleagues wondering whether i am normal, I honestly understand because this is clearly not normal but it is very refreshing. I thank God for the privilege and the courage to do this at this time of my life. A friend of mine who is a bit older told me that people regret for the things they did not do and not the things they did.
” when achievement motivation goes sky-high, it can crowd out originality: the more you value achievement, the more you come to dread failure, instead of aiming for unique accomplishments, the intense desire to succeed leads us to strive for guaranteed success……the drive to succeed and the accompanying fear of failure have held back some of the greatest creators and change agents in the history. Concerned with maintaining stability and attaining conventional achievements, they have been reluctant to pursue originality” Adam Grant in his book, Originals.
To conform is to behave according to what society call normal, to be conventional. It is to be similar or uniform. Conforming is easier than trying to be different, because when you conform, you are liked, you do not get in trouble with any one. you are actually flowing the path of no resistance.
To transform on the other hand is to make a drastic or dramatic change, to behave according to unexpected. When something is transformed, it changes form or appearance. When a person is transformed, the character changes, they behave different. Transformation is not easy, it means being non conformist, making the world and the environment to adapt to yourself and not adopting to the world. It is very uncomfortable and challenging but exciting not to conform. Only those who seek to be original can transform the society. Paul says only when you are transformed by the renewal of your mind, will you know the perfect will of God. I guess he meant that without transformation, there is no knowledge of Gods perfect will.