45. Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. —Romans 12:2


Dr. Martin Luther King once told of riding the bus across town every day to attend high school. In those days blacks were required to sit at the backs of buses while whites sat in the front. Even if there weren’t any white people on the bus, blacks still could not sit in the front. If all the “black seats” were occupied, riders had to stand over the empty seats reserved for whites. “I would end up having to go to the back of that bus with my body,” said Dr. King, “but every time I got on that bus I left my mind up on the front seat. And I said to myself, ‘One of these days, I’m going to put my body up there where my mind is.’”

Dr. King was stating an essential, inviolable rule in life. Our bodies usually end up where our minds are. Our brains are a complex aspect of God’s creation, and our minds are the fountainhead of our lives. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7 KJV). Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The most important things in life are the thoughts you choose to think.” Ralph Waldo Emerson added, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Every temptation comes to us via our thoughts, making the mind the battleground of the soul.

When we come to Christ, a change begins in our minds and thinking. We—our personalities and everything about us—are transformed by the renewing of our thoughts. The Greek word for “transformed” is metemorpho from which we get our word metamorphosis. We experience an inner metamorphosis as our minds are renewed by God’s Spirit and His Word. The Phillips Version puts it like this: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands, and moves toward the goal of true maturity.”

Key Bible Texts about the Mind

  • Test me, Lord… examine my heart and mind. (Ps. 26:2)
  • Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name. (Ps. 86:11)
  • You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You. (Isa. 26:3)
  • Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. (Col. 3:2)
  • You are being renewed in the spirit of your minds. (Eph. 4:23)
  • Love the Lord your God… with all your mind. (Matt. 22:37)

[Transformation] happens by the renewing of our minds, and the way our minds become renewed is by the study of the life-giving and renewing Word of God. —James Montgomery Boice

100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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