By DJuana Drew
Some would say yes, but I say no. Let me explain.
To change can mean to make the form or nature of something different than it was previously. I can change my mind, change clothes, change direction and change my behavior. An animal called a chameleon can change its color to match its background, making itself invisible to predators. People change jobs, partners, cars, their minds, cell phone carriers and a myriad of other things in their lives. Interestingly enough, the word transformation is used to define the word change (when the word “into” is added). I believe the word transformation suggests a deeper meaning.
If one simply looks at the dictionary definition, the words change and transform are almost interchangeable. The word change is used to define the word transform. In either definition, a difference occurs because something that was one way has become something else. So what, you ask? Thank you for asking that question!
Paul says in Romans 12:1-2 that a transformation can occur if we choose to renew our minds.
Let that soak in for a minute – transformation. The power behind his words suggests this is not just a wardrobe change. This passage of scripture says if we choose to walk away from the world’s methods and choose God’s way we will be transformed (or changed, if you like that word better).
I believe God desires transformation for each of us, which means we will be different than we were before, even different than we are now. His method to transform us happens in two stages: First, a choice to not conform, second a choice to transform by renewing our minds. According to Romans 12 this is the prescription for transformation. I hear another question coming from you – why change (or transform)? Excellent question!
Admittedly, the words change and transform can mean the same thing. My goal is to entice you to think beyond the similarities and see a great design intended to bring us closer to God. The fact is we need to transform in order to be more like God and walk in His ways. Our natures, born sinful, stray away from God and toward the things of the world. Dallas Willard in his book Renovation of the Heart says it like this: “Accordingly, the greatest need you and I have – the greatest need of collective humanity – is renovation of our heart. That spiritual place within us from which outlook, choices, and actions come has been formed by a world away from God. Now it must be transformed”.
We need to transform, though we may not think so. If we have professed of hope in Christ and received the love freely given by God we also must choose to transform. It is so easy to choose not to transform – very easy. Our Designer wants to show each of us more than we have ever dreamed to know. Be renovated. Be changed. Be transformed!
DJuana Drew 14′ serves as Associate Minister and Business Analyst at New Salem Baptist Church. Earned an MDiv degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2014.
Great article! Very timely and thought provoking. I’m proud of you Sis!
Thank you, DJuana, for reminding me that the process of transformation is just that, a process. It is an ongoing, daily decision that I must make each day to choose to allow my mind and heart to be transformed, and you’re right, it is so easy to choose to say no. But submitting to that process on a daily basis is totally worth it, as I have been learning throughout my own seminary journey. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your heart!
I would say, in me, you have achieved your goal of enticing me “to think beyond the similarities and see a great design intended to bring us closer to God.” Thank you for this thought-provoking and inspiring article.