Transforming the Voices of Earth
All the media formats available to us nowadays, sometimes called “the voices of earth,” can oftentimes be overwhelming, smothering, if not downright evil; but if our hearts and minds are anchored in Jesus Christ, we can help transform them into good.
Consider these words written around 58 – 60 A.D. by Paul in Romans 12:2. “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Can Paul’s words written so long ago be applicable to today’s living? I believe they can. Let’s break it down.
First sentence, “And be not conformed to this world.”
In Paul’s day, “this world” was full of immorality, greed, idols, et cetera, occupying the people’s minds and behavior; but since everyone was behaving that way, the consensus was it must be okay. By Paul writing “be not conformed,” he was saying it is not okay to conform to these types of activities just because the world around you is.
To What End?
Because most of us bury our heads in iPhones, computers, Netflix, and the desire to be “liked” on Facebook by everyone, we figure this is how we should input our minds since this is what everyone is doing. Paul’s words from 2,000 years ago would beg to differ with you.
To what end are we spending our time like this? Or is it that today we do not think about “to what end,” but are acting only for me, now, and instantaneous satisfaction. It gives us cause to pause and think about all the junk, quite frankly, that we are bombarding our minds with.
Second sentence, “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” “Transformed” we can understand: to have made a change in form, appearance, or character; but what about “the renewing of our mind”? One definition of renew is to give fresh life or strength to; to revive. Paul is suggesting in these two sentences that we need not go along with the masses to receive joy by absorbing all the input that everyone else does, but we can renew, refresh what goes into our God‐made computers: our mind and brain.
The mind defined in English is the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and reasons.
In Hebrew – the mind/reason is the part of the human being in which thought takes place, and perceptions and decisions to do good, evil, and the like come to expression.
In Greek – mind/nous/intellect. In philosophy, the faculty of intellectual apprehension and of intuitive thought – it is sometimes identified with the highest or divine intellect.
We get our cars washed, we clean our kitchen floors, we exercise to keep our bodies moving, or we should; the God‐given wonderful creation of our mind is just as important, if not more so. Perhaps we can “clean up” our minds the same way we clean our kitchen floors: get the dirt and grime off it.
Today’s world is consumed with the same things Paul’s world was: immorality, greed, and idols; although today’s idols might not be stone statues of made‐up gods, we certainly have idols today, just in a different format.
The 19th century theologian Charles Spurgeon tells us that, “The voices of earth are full of falsehood, but the Word from heaven is pure.” He is right. Paul is right.
Let’s not be so wrapped up in the media madness of today that we continually saturate our minds with useless input. Quite frankly, garbage in, garbage out.
Ruth Crystal in Angel Talk says it well, “Listen to the quiet.” Sometimes we may be better off not thinking at all for a few moments here and there throughout the day. Refresh your input with words from the Scripture. You may very well be surprised how comforting it feels. Say hello to Jesus in the morning upon wakening and thank Him for another day before you reach for your iPhone to see what you might have “missed” overnight.
There were other 1st century Christian writings that did not “make the cut,” if you will. There is the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Thomas, among many others. Thomas writes, “The world is a bridge, pass over it, do not make your home there.” Paul and Thomas seem to be on the same page here.
If you find yourself not content with the world around you and what you are constantly thinking about, give Paul and Thomas’ words a chance. You certainly have nothing to lose, and serenity to gain.
Wouldn’t it be wonderfully refreshing if Paul’s 2,000 year old words really are applicable in 2022, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”