Do not conform any longer to the pattern 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 good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I hate change, but I love having been changed by God. The changing process is usually painful and lengthy. I’m reminded of a butterfly. It starts life as a caterpillar. At some point it covers itself in a silky fiber that hardens into an ugly container. Changes begin within the cocoon–huge wings, much larger than the caterpillar, sprout out from its body.
Change is hard and scary–preparing ourselves to become something we’ve never been. With nostalgia, we often cling to our wormy, creeping self, but when it’s time to enter the cocoon, we must go. We must allow the Holy Spirit to make changes within us. In the quietness of our cocoon, we can hear His still small voice saying things like “that way of thinking has to go” or “that’s not from God.”
When it’s time to emerge from the cocoon, the butterfly can’t stay. Its cocoon becomes transparent, and light beckons it to a new kind of life. Leaving its cozy container isn’t easy, but the butterfly’s wings are growing and cracking the cocoon’s shell. You can’t help a butterfly by tearing open the cocoon. Its struggle to come free is a necessary part of strengthening its new wings. If the new wings are too weak, the butterfly will die.
Emerging from our comfortable cocoons is necessary for growth, too. The word “transform” in Romans 12:2 is metamorphoō, a Greek word which means to change into another form. God wants to change us into a whole new form, to change everything about us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
Butterflies are vastly different from caterpillars. They fly, they see things from above, they travel to new places, and they produce offspring. All caterpillars do is creep and consume. When we allow God to transform us, we will “fly.” We’ll also see things from above, travel to new places, and produce spiritual offspring.
Change is difficult and painful, but it’s worth the struggle.
Read Exodus 34:29-35 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. What is the significance of the “unveiled faces”? How does Paul say that they are transformed?
Read Colossians 3:2-4. What other words does Paul use to describe “renewing” our minds? What can we look forward to?
The words of 1 Peter 3:2-4 are addressed to wives, but they apply to all Christians. What does Peter tell us to do with our minds? How does he say this is accomplished?
Nancy J. Baker