I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom 12:1-2
If you don’t like yourself, you are in good company. There are a lot of people that, for some reason or other, do not like themselves. I’ve had many times is my life where I didn’t like myself. Particularly when I was a teenager.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you just need to love yourself the way you are, because the way you are might not be good. However, I’m going to tell you how you can effortlessly change the things about yourself that you do not like. Actually, I’m not going to tell you, I’m going to allow the bible to tell you.
In Romans 12:2 the bible says to ‘be transformed.’ If you are a person that doesn’t like things about yourself, then that is exactly what needs to happen for you. You need to be transformed.
The greek word ‘transformed’ is the same word the bible uses to describe Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain (Mt 17:2). Jesus physical appearance went from that of an ordinary looking man, to a glowing, glorious man and He shone like the brightness of the sun. What happened was that the disciples simply got a glimpse of the real Jesus that was on the inside.
In the same way, as a believer, you have Christ on the inside of you. He has made your spirit perfect and He has cleansed away every evil thing on the inside, and He wants to shine through you. But the problem is that you have so much junk on the outside that it is like a light trying to shine through thick layers of mud. It’s not working.
So, how do you take care of the mud?
What I’ve found out about others and what I have experienced myself is that we have a desire to change, but not the power. When we go to try to change the thing about us that we don’t like, we fail time and again. And then, not only do we feel bad about the thing we are trying to change, but we feel really bad about the fact that we aren’t disciplined enough to change it. The failing process makes us feel worse. So then we are tempted to give up on trying to change. And then we may say, “Well, this is just the way I am.”
If you feel this way, don’t lose heart! This is the way you are supposed to be. God designed you so you would fail doing things this way. He did it so you would reach out to Him and be saved.
Look what the bible says:
“the letter kills.” 2 Cor 3:6
The ‘letter’ is referring to God’s old testament law. If you study the bible you will find out that the law was never meant to save you, but to help you to recognize how powerless you are to obey it. And then God sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts, Who enables us to live a life holier than obeying any law could do.
In the same way, the moment you lay down a law for yourself, you set yourself up to fail. Have you ever noticed how New Years resolutions are almost always an utter failure?
I’ve laid down several laws for myself. I’ve also eventually broken them all… lol. I was approaching it the wrong way.
But now I approach things the bible way. And Romans 12:2 shows us the way we should approach change:
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
The key is to not focus on trying to change, but to focus on the Word. The Word will change you without you trying. The more of the Word that you put into your heart, the more you will be transformed into the image of Christ. You’ll find that the things that have held you bound are gone, and you didn’t even realize it!!
And God will help you with this as well. Pray and ask God to increase your love for the Word. Take time with the Word and meditate on it. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what it means. Pray over it. Pray about it. Talk about it with friends. Go to special meetings where the Word is being preached. Forget about what you want to change, and focus on the changing agent.
Even if you could change one thing about yourself, certainly you couldn’t change it all! You are too much of a mess! Do you see the greatness of being able to focus on one thing? Amen!
Let your eye be single. Focus on the Word. It will effortlessly change you in every area of your life! AMEN!