Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2
Prepare Your Heart
Read Romans 12 & Luke 10:25-37
There is never a bad time of year to renew our minds. Honestly, the holiday season might be the best time to focus on getting our minds off of the pattern of this world and more focused on being transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we renew our minds? We get in God’s Word.
The holidays can bring unwanted and unwarranted stress into our lives in which we need to be prepared. From long-lasting gatherings with family to holiday work parties, we find ourselves in settings that are not the norm to our day-to-day. Thoughts and interactions may not go the way we expect them to go but the Bible provides us a wonderful outline in the twelfth chapter of Romans as to what we can put our focus on during this season. Let this be a springboard for the future in every area of your life.
What does it look like to have a transformed mind?
- don’t think more highly of yourself than you think of others (don’t be a disrespectful know-it-all)
- think sensibly (put down that 3rd, 4th Christmas Cookie; don’t go into debt to give gifts)
- love without hypocrisy (don’t plaster on a fake smile to talk nice to someone’s face then turn around and gossip about them -hold on, isn’t that “Maturity 101”? Oops, I better practice what I preach LOL)
- detest evil
- cling to what is good
- show family affection and brotherly love
- outdo one another in showing HONOR (NOT outgiving with expensive gifts unless that is what honor needs to look like in your specific situation)
- be diligent
- be fervent in spirit
- serve the Lord (and those around you)
- rejoice in hope (nothing, absolutely nothing is hopeless when Jesus is involved)
- be patient in affliction (there will be a lot of people who have buried hurts that try to surface during the holidays – read all of the above if you’re tempted to judge them in that hurt)
- be persistant in prayer (not prayer that is consumed with you thinking everyone else needs to change)
- share with the saints in need
- pursue hospitality
- bless those who persecute you (and gossip about you, and say false things about you, and turn their backs on you – yeah, those people)
- rejoice with those who rejoice (that will help with your struggle with those who persecute you)
- weep with those who weep (don’t tell people they need to just “get over it”, cry with them have a little empathy)
- live in Godly agreement (you don’t know everything but God does)
- don’t be proud; associate with the humble (in other words, let some humble people rub off on you)
- don’t be wise based on your own opinions (Proverbs 3:5)
- don’t repay evil for evil
- do what is deemed honorable by as many as possible
- be at peace with everyone as much as it depends on you
- don’t try to get revenge (ooooo, this doesn’t always look like criminal behavior, revenge comes in small packages too – like giving the cold shoulder, gossip, slander, etc)
- feed your enemy
- conquer evil with good
- bear the weaknesses of those who have no strength (you sometimes have to dig a little and let others express their hearts to know when this is needed)
- don’t live to please yourself (don’t apologize just to ease your own conscience; don’t exploit others in order to look good)
- build up your neighbor (who’s your neighbor? Read Luke 10:25-37)
Only do what promotes peace this season – and every season for that matter, but start today. If peace will not come by a decision you’re making, reconsider that decision through prayer and ask the Lord to give you wisdom to make the adjustments toward the outcome of peace. If chaos, frustration, and confusion will likely be the end result – change your approach. Use the above “guidelines” to lead you into heavenly peace; brave grace by choosing to practice a renewing lifestyle according to Romans 12.
- Continue reviewing this list throughout the season.
- Where are your strengths and weaknesses in regard to renewing your mind in Christ Jesus?
- How can you incorporate Romans 12 on a personal level in your day to day life?
We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!
Enjoy a Christmas Song