Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
Sometimes we simply “go along to get along.” It is not unusual for us to decide to do whatever it takes in order that peace is maintained in our lives. It is often more easy to put more emphasis on tranquility than it is on distinctiveness. The painful truth is that conformity is generally the uncomplicated road. It is the path of least resistance. It is the place that a majority of us find most comforting. Nobody wants to “rock the boat” and be labeled rebellious or an outcast. It is certainly easier to just go along to get along.
But we have been called OUT of one life and INTO another. The language that the apostle Paul uses above is stark—conformity to a way of life that ultimately leads to destruction and the dishonoring of God is not acceptable. On the contrary (now there’s a good word!), we are a people who are being transformed because of Jesus Christ. That transformation carries with it some profound realities and implications. Namely, it insists that we are no longer what we used to be (as Paul also states in Ephesians 2, Ephesians 4, and elsewhere). We are not residents of this world anymore. Rather, we are people who recognize—both intellectually and behaviorally—that this place in which we live is only a temporary stopover on our way to eternity. Because of this, we live very differently than we ever have before. We follow this Christ into places and behaviors that before we never would have considered. We live in such a way that the world identifies us as ones who are contrary to what is considered “everyday” or “normal.”
This is not to say that we act rudely or purposefully defiantly—far from it. Instead, we imitate our Savior and show kindness, love, charity, service, selflessness, and the like, even (especially) when everything and everyone stands against us. –Ricky