So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. Romans 12:1-2 CEB
Yesterday mom did a wonderful job of writing about some of the counter-intuitive aspects of finding, or being given, God’s will. That is one central aspect of these verses. But the logic of these verses is two-fold: Don’t conform to this world, do renew your mind so you can discern God’s will.
Both aspects are difficult, but I particularly struggle with the first part. In order to avoid conforming to the “ways of the world”, so to speak, we need to know what those things are. What is it that we’re not supposed to conform to? Well, simply put, the aspects of our culture that do not reflect God’s character or values. Things that are dehumanizing, for instance, we do not conform to. Things that are destructive we do not conform to (this could be relational destruction or destruction of God’s creation in general). Things that are not respectful, we avoid. Things that do not promote flourishing, we resist.
Addiction is the ultimate example of all of these things. This is why it’s important for churches to have recovery resources. It takes away our personhood, it fractures families, it pulls the community around the addict down to a very low level of functioning and robs us of our ability to flourish.
We resist these things by learning to resist our natural impulses. Our impulses are always to triangle, to manipulate, to be passive aggressive, to undermine each other, and so on and so forth. When we give in, we rob ourselves and those around us of the ability to flourish, and have abundant life.
In order to do this, we must first learn awareness. How? Get involved with a support group. Nobody is better at helping others become aware of their patterns than a support group.