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.
Ginny looked up from her chai tea and smiled when she saw Nancy approach her at their usual table. The two of them had been meeting Wednesday mornings outside a local coffee shop for conversation and encouragement.
“Hey, friend! How’s your day going?” Nancy asked as she sat down across the table from Ginny.
“Well, I keep thinking about our discussion at the end of Sunday morning Bible class,” Ginny answered. “Pastor explained to us that the ‘true and proper worship’ of Romans 12:1—or ‘spiritual worship’ of some Bible translations—means that we want to please God in everything we do because of his mercy for us. I get that, and I want to do that. I still can’t get over how patient God has been with me, despite all of my wrong turns in life. How Jesus was willing to give his life for me. But I still struggle. There are so many times I just don’t know what the right and ‘God-pleasing’ thing to do is. Remember, I’ve only been coming to church for a little over a year now.”
Nancy sipped her latte and thought for a moment. “Pretty heavy thoughts for a Wednesday morning!” she finally said. “But I know how you feel. Every Christian struggles that way. Even the apostle Paul described his own inner fight between right and wrong in Romans chapter 7.”
“That’s true,” said Ginny.
Nancy continued, “But you are on the right path. You’re coming to church; you’re coming to Bible study, and you’re doing your best to put all that into practice in your life. I’ve learned to trust the Holy Spirit to transform my heart and mind through his Word and sacraments. He started it when we were baptized, and he continues to work in us whenever we’re reading or talking about his Word. Believe me, I know from experience that it’s a life-long process, full of ups and downs. That’s what makes me so grateful for his forgiveness!”
Dear God, you called me to be your child. Keep me from sin and teach me to know and do what is pleasing to you. Amen.