How to conform yourself to God's standards rather than the world's


The Bible says that God's standards are not the same as the world's, and genuine Christ-followers should know that very well. Jesus said that we are in the world, but we do not belong in this world (see John 15:18-20).

Even God Himself said that we should "be holy, because [He] is holy" (Leviticus 11:44). This means that trying to conform to the world's standards, and looking like it, is disobedience to God's command to "Come out from [the world] and be separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17). What do we do?

Romans 12:2 tells us the key: "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."

Choose to conform to God's standards

Paul exhorts all believers not to conform to, or take the shape of, the world. The New Living Translation version captures it beautifully: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world."

Worldly customs, traditions, cultures and behaviours are not the same as the Lord's no matter how "good," "healthy" and "clean" they may seem to be. We need to choose to pursue God's standards more than we would choose to follow Oprah, psychology, or even those seemingly harmless family traditions.

How do we start? "[L]et God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think," says the NLT version. We need to have a changed mind, one that knows how God thinks through soaking itself in the Word of God.

Take for example the Lord Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14). He lived on the earth for a full 30 years before starting His ministry, but when He started, people could really see that He was one of a kind. Coming from a place where people can't expect anything good from (see John 1:46), He proved that an intimate relationship with the Father, and a deep love of the Word, enabled Him to be sinless no matter what kind of environment and culture He found Himself in.

Offer yourselves to God

Still some of us might be stubborn, and might not want to follow God. This is why Paul reminds all Christians to remember all that God has done for us, so that we could offer our very lives – not just in word but in body – to the Lord (Rom. 12:1). Offering our bodies doesn't necessarily mean serving God in full capacity right from the start, but it could also mean honouring God with your body by not sinning, and instead choosing to read the Word of God.

Lastly, here's a bonus you get from soaking yourself in the Bible: "Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom. 12:2)