“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~Romans 12:2

Renewing the mind is, by definition, an internal process. Those of us who are baptized followers of Christ understand that God’s Holy Spirit lives inside us, shaping us into the image of our Creator. And that includes the changing of our very minds, the transformation of the very ways we think.

In God’s great wisdom, he has determined that this is a much better way to go about things than following laws. We know that laws cannot conceivably cover all the issues and circumstances we face in life. No matter how detailed the laws are — God’s laid down a few and we’ve come up with plenty ourselves! — they will always fail to cover some situation.

Living like Christ is not about conforming to commands. That kind of theology leads to duplicitous living. Some disciples are “Christian” in their behavior regarding laws they’ve been taught but thoroughly worldly when it comes to those things not specifically covered in Scripture. A Christian may not abort her baby because she’s been taught not to do that. But she may harbor racist attitudes or fudge on her taxes without batting an eye.

If renewing the mind is as important as Paul says, then the goal of the Church should be forming Christian minds in our people. We should be teaching and preaching beyond what is right and wrong and work as much — if not more — on shaping a worldview that puts Christ and our Christian transformations at the center.

“Inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” ~2 Corinthians 4:16