Who Shapes Me?

Karen Bables

READ : Romans 12:1-8

Do not be conformed to this world. (v. 2)

How hard do you fight against being conformed to the culture around you? Do you dream of owning an Apple watch? Do you excuse your bad language by saying, “I hear it all the time”? Do you judge, not love? We adapt pretty easily to the way the world works. As Eugene Peterson puts it, we “become so well-adjusted” to our culture that we “fit into it without even thinking” (Rom. 12:2 The Message).

That is why the nitty-gritty work of spiritual formation is being conformed to the image of Christ; we are in a lifelong process of being made to be like Jesus. We are accustomed to being formed by the world; it is an everyday pressure. But being conformed to the lifestyle of Jesus is more difficult. We don’t want to be conformed; we fight to be in charge. M. Robert Mulholland says, we “don’t mind spiritual formation at all as long as [we] can be in control of it” (Invitation to a Journey, p. 26).

But Paul tells us to fashion ourselves after the example of Christ. In my experience, this is a two-step process. First, we become open to the possibility that the Holy Spirit can shape and mold us to be like Jesus. We learn to act according to the standards, expectations, and values that Jesus lived under. Then we choose to fight against the outside pressures that are calling us away from this lifestyle. This is how we become conformed to the image of Jesus.

PRAYER

Father, I want to be conformed to the image of Jesus.