Be Transformed, Not Conformed
When have you been changed by God?
Beth Moore is one of the most effective Bible teachers in the Christian community, especially among women. She has spoken at big-name evangelical churches such as Saddleback, where pastor Rick Warren considers her to be a friend. Her studies are everywhere, and a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has said that it would be hard to find a church “where at least some segment of the congregation has not been through at least one Beth Moore study.”
But now, Moore has been transformed. “The old way is over,” she says. “The stakes are too high.” She is appalled by sexual misconduct in the worlds of politics and the church. She knows that many of her followers have suffered abuse, and she herself was sexually abused as a small child. In a Tweet to her nearly 900,000 followers, she said, “Wake up, Sleepers, to what women have dealt with all along in environments of gross entitlement & power.”
Moore is convinced that God wants her to address this issue, and she is adamant that Christian men should always treat women exactly as Jesus did: “always with dignity, always with esteem, never as secondary citizens.”
Transformation happens when we turn away from the old ways of overlooking sexual misconduct, and enter a new era of respect and righteous behavior. “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world,” says the apostle Paul, “but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is” (Romans 12:2). God wants us to be transformed to the ways of heaven, not conformed to the ways of the world.
We do this by presenting ourselves as “a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God” (verse 1). Such sacrificial living involves putting the interests of others ahead of our own, and treating others as we would like to be treated. When we allow ourselves to be transformed, we discover “what God’s will is — what is good and pleasing and mature” (verse 2). God’s will is that we treat others as Jesus did, always with dignity and esteem.
When have you been led by God to see your neighbors in a new light? Perhaps you have seen the image and likeness of God in a person of another race or nationality. Maybe you have discovered the Holy Spirit to be at work in a man or a woman with a developmental disability. New light dawns when you see an opponent as a person for whom Christ died, instead of as an eternal enemy. Whenever you are transformed in this way, God is at work in a powerful way.
Transform me, Lord, in accordance with the values of your eternal kingdom. Amen.