Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Last week I was in Nashville with our Every Nation Assessment centre to help assess the suitability of some couples to plant new churches. One of the gentlemen on our team is currently busy with a Doctorate programme and he said something that stuck with me. He quoted one of his lecturers, saying “those who don’t write, don’t think”.
This statement has echoed in my mind for the last few days. Ignorance is not something I would want to be known for. I love to think about things. I want to seek truth in everything I do. But more than that, I desire my life to be transformed for the better.
This verse in Romans states clearly that we should not be INFORMED in our minds but TRANSFORMED. There is a pretty big difference. Most of us who just read but not write, ends up being informed and not transformed. It is only through teaching others that you really challenge yourself to make statements of truth and conviction. Being somewhere in the middle with a lot of knowledge will make no difference to you or anyone else.
Recently I have had to deal with a pretty challenging pastoral situation with someone who confesses to be a Christian but whose life is not at all bearing the fruit. The person shows no remorse or repentance for any hurt caused to people, or for the sinful behaviour which caused everything, for that matter. Yet, in our conversations, I could recognise an amazing insight into the Bible, but there was no conviction of truth.
This means there is information through knowledge but no transformation through a relationship with Jesus.
I tend to find this in many who confess to be Christian. They have knowledge about forgiveness, yet carry deep offences against their parents and others.
We need to be transformed by Christ, not informed by books.
When you read and gain new knowledge but your behaviour stays the same, you will only have gained information but no transformation. New knowledge that results in new behaviour is equal to the transformation this verse refers to. This seldom happens unless you actually start teaching and discipling others. Therefore, “those who don’t write don’t think”.
This is why I believe it is important to make disciples. When I have to duplicate myself into someone else, I need to pass on who I am, not just what I know. We need to be able to reflect Christ in everything we do and be able to pass on His nature, not our own brokenness.
I believe that love is the greatest commandment, exactly for this very reason. We cannot influence anyone with the Gospel if we are not transformed by Love ourselves. This starts by forgiving (unconditionally) those who have done us wrong.
Make a commitment today that you will not just be informed, but transformed.