Transformation or Conformity

“You are the you I created you to be”-God

Genesis chapter 1 clearly tells us God’s blueprint for mankind was Himself. Take a look at Genesis 1:26-27.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NASB)

Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man has lived a contradiction. We are created to be the very image of God yet as Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is a vacuum created in the space between who we are and who we were created to be. The only way to fill this vacuum is to be transformed. Romans 12:2 begins, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

We are presented, by God’s gift of free-will, two choices. We can choose conformity to the world’s standards which are never absolute and shift from day to day, or transformation to God’s standards which are presented to us in His timeless word. To illustrate the difference between conformity and transformation, God has been bringing to my mind construction, using either brick or stone. I don’t think it is coincidental that in their Egyptian slavery the children of Israel were forced to make bricks. Bricks were formed with a mixture of straw and clay which was forced into a mold to ensure uniformity.

The systems of this world, including dead lifeless religion, will try to force some type of uniformity. Those lacking the moral clarity to control themselves from within must be controlled from the outside, which gives rise to the political correctness we see around us. In one form or another the result of conformity is always slavery. Diversity becomes a perversion of its true self as it tries to justify the gap between God’s righteousness and our sin nature. This system denies any intent in our creation, we are just randomly shaped pieces who must be forced to fit together. Apart from God, the world needs to form humans into bricks. This is being conformed to this world.

God, however, created us exactly as He wanted us to be. Like a stone selected by a craftsman, we are created with the exact shape to fit in the larger creation precisely as He intends. True diversity can only be celebrated as each stone is used as it was created to be used. A mason may need to chip off pieces of a stone that protrude in the wrong place but this does not change the natural state of the stone, it merely refines it for better use. This is transformation by renewal, using the Bible as the tool to smooth the rough edges. The opposite of slavery, this is the path to true freedom.

Transformed by the Word or conformed to the world, those are our choices. Transformation is the only way to become who we really are, someone created in His image. The only way to get there is by studying His word and allowing it to shape you. Dig into the Bible today, not just to learn it, but to be changed by it.

Published by Eric M. Johnson

I am a follower of Christ, husband to a beautiful worshiper, and father to two amazing sons. My day job is at a great company in which I am fortunate to be a partner. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems. I enjoy studying God's Word and have taken several graduate level Biblical Studies courses, never in pursuit of a degree. In my free time I enjoy traveling, outdoors, and sports. I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan which is a character building experience.