Culture often tricks us so that we assume our lifestyle values encompass the essence of the Christian faith. Romans 12: 1-2 states,
I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice—living, sanctified, acceptable to God—your intelligent service; and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what is the will of God—the good, and acceptable, and perfect.
Paul understood that culture can trick us and therefore he placed an emphasis upon training his mind toward the thoughts of God. He knew that he could not be like the writer of Ecclesiastes who said,
So I turned my [mind] to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly. (Ecclesiastes 7:25)
Paul had also heard how the Lord Jesus Christ had rebuked Peter. In Matthew 16:23, Jesus turned and said to Peter,
Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in [mind] the things of God, but the things of men.
What are you training your mind and thoughts toward, God and His ways or the worlds and its cultural ways and values? What do you fill your mind with? What books do you read? What movies do you watch? What TV shows do you watch? Who do you listen to? Daily, what do you fill your mind with?
All of these activities directly influence our cultural values and what we deem important in life. Everything we see, hear, smell, and even taste or touch trains our mind and influences what we value in life.
Paul knew the importance of allowing God to daily examine his mind, his thoughts. The Psalmist said,”Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my [mind]” (Psalms 26:2). On another occasion Paul reminded the readers that,
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved [mind], to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28)
May we Christians train our mind to think and live Biblical values and in so doing we can be transformers of culture and not vice versa.