God’s Word Shapes our Thoughts and Actions2 min read

Our culture has changed in many ways. For example, marriage, gender, and adultery have all been redefined. Think back to the account of Joseph wanting to protect Mary from being stoned as she found herself pregnant and unmarried. Today, pregnancy before marriage is no big deal. Furthermore, should you be a follower of Jesus and cherish the sixth commandment, you’ll also find that you are no longer called “old fashioned.” Now you are intolerant, bigoted, and a fill-in-the-blank-a-phobe.

So what are we to do as Christ followers when our culture demeans us for our beliefs? And what if it’s our child or grandchild or friend or neighbor who is following the way of the world? Shouldn’t we just love them and not judge them? Should traditional marriage change to meet the culture?

As Christ followers, our first action should be to look to Scripture for answers. God is clear in Romans 12:2 in how to respond to the world:  Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

Reality is that our culture should never shape our thoughts and actions. Reading, hearing and studying the Word of God is what should guide and transform us. The world is influenced by temporary things and lies, and our focus is on the eternal truths of our unchangeable God. It’s when we get comfortable or complacent in our earthly journey that we discover we want to fit in with the world. Being liked and being popular is tantalizing and being different because of your beliefs can get in the way of those goals.

But what if you are being transformed by God and the world isn’t shaping you? Then the question becomes: Can I be relevant in my culture while being truthful and loving as I speak to unbelievers about Jesus? How? We must speak timeless truths in a relevant way.

These topics are the focus of The Katie 2017, a conference for the wives of the men in ministry in the Michigan District. Our theme is Changed by the Unchangeable God and our theme verse is Romans 12:2. We will study Zacchaeus, Samson, and the Tax Collector as we wrestle with being transformed by God and relevant in a changing culture. Encourage your pastor’s wife to attend the conference on April 21-23, 2017, in Bay City.

If you would like to delve deeply into Romans 12 and be transformed by the truths in it, I invite you to download the Romans 12 Forty Day Journaling Challenge that Rev. Michael Korte and I wrote. One version is a coloring book, and the other is a simple journal.

Photo (c) Magnify Studio/Lightstock.

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About the Author

Stacey Stahl is the wife of Rev. Michael Stahl (teacher of theology at Saginaw Valley Lutheran High School). She is mother to Alannah and Jaden, and the Communications Coordinator at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saginaw.

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