- (AMP) Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
- (GNB) Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
- (ISV) Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.
- (LITV) And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is the good and pleasing and perfect will of God.
- (NLT) Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- (JB Phillips) Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the Plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
I thought having the translations I chose above would help you. The first thought in Paul’s mind is: don’t let yourself be conformed, follow the schema or mindset of the world in which you live; or even your own culture or the world system around you. Remember from yesterday the Greek word behind this text is αἰών [aiōn] age, by implication the world. The world system or the modus operandi around you. This current age, at this moment in the world’s history with all its thinking and behaviours. Each age is different but it is still generally opposed to God and godliness. Don’t conform yourselves to the standards of the world. Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mould. Stand against the direction the stream of society is moving in. It varies from place to place, especially the places we have lived in. But there are some common features.
Being worldly is not the specific behaviours we may exhibit like smoking, drinking, partying, playing cards and womanizing. They are the symptoms. It is the big picture things, the world view that you take on board, that will ultimately squeeze you into its mould (after Phillips).
- Secular – this is a Latin word (from saeculum) which means “age”. Paul has used the Greek word to say the same thing. Don’t be of this age, don’t have you mind set on the things the world system is interested in. But our use of the word today is to be secular as opposed to spiritual. Paul has just said in verse 1 be spiritual. Worship spiritually but with your mind.
- Humanist – focusing more on human kind than on God. Focusing and interpreting everything through a human grid reference. Don’t use logic for everything, Don’t rely on your own understanding. (Prov 3:5-6).
- Relativism – the idea that there are no absolutes but all things are relative. Values and standards are meaningless, “your right” is good for you just as “my right” is good for me. No one’s values are better than any others and therefore ultimately there are no values. Each person can do what is right in their own eyes. Now where have I heard that refrain before? (Judges).
- Materialism – the hedonistic way of life that focuses on the material world, having fun, living for yourself and making the most of now. The eat-drink-and-be-merry-for tomorrow-we-die attitude.
The mind set on these things is not open to being holy, acceptable, living sacrifices to God.Ian Vail
A person wrapped up in themselves makes a very small package!Louie Giglio
God gave us mouths that can close and ears that don’t – that should tell us something.Sidney Mohede