Commentary: It starts in the mind


I heard about a physician who said, “Many of my patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts. So I have a favorite prescription I write for some. But it is not a prescription that you can fill at a drugstore. The prescription I write is a verse from the Bible, Romans 12:2. Although he didn’t write the entire verse out for his patients, I’d like to do that now. “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.” (Romans 12:2 NASB). With that in mind, focus on these two statements: 

Don’t conform to the pattern of this world. I love how J.B. Phillips renders this in his New Testament in Modern English translation: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” By world, Paul means this present evil age, one in which the devil is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2 NASB). It’s a world spinning out of control, doomed to destruction, dominated by hedonism, materialism, and narcissism. 

It’s not that God doesn’t want us to enjoy ourselves. Jesus came that we might have abundant life, which includes the swift here and now, as well as the sweet by and by. Yet, excluding the Lord from our plans and chasing temporal, carnal pursuits is a plan doomed for failure. As the Bible says, “The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever” (1 John 2:17 NASB). 

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The word in the original language for transformed is metamorphoo, from which we get the English word metamorphosis. In other words, when a person comes to Christ, they don’t become an improved version of who they were, but rather a brand new person, one in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (Corinthians 5:17 NASB). Likewise, the creature that emerges from the cocoon is not an improved caterpillar, but rather a brand new butterfly. 

And to think, it all begins in that short space between our ears. Transformation requires mind renewal. Every action begins with a thought. According to the Bible, as a person “thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB). 

If you find yourself struggling in this area, meditate upon this verse, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 KJV). But you can’t have the mind of Christ unless you’ve become a child of God through salvation -understanding that salvation is only the beginning. 

Next comes sanctification, being set apart and progressing in the faith. After all, growth should follow birth, both in the natural and supernatural realms. I remember hearing the constant command as a little leaguer: “Keep your eye on the ball.” The same principle holds true in kingdom life. We must keep our focus on Jesus, blocking out distractions and temptations.  

Paul said it this way to one of his churches, “Set your mind on things above, not on things  that are on earth (Colossians 3:2 NASB). Scripture also says, “Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3 NASB) We keep our mind on Him by reading the Bible (and other faith-based literature), praying,  listening to Christian podcasts and music, engaging in kingdom conversation with family and friends, and joining in community with other believers. 

Don’t conform, but rather be transformed. Experience hope and joy that only Christ can provide. 


Todd Gaddis is a semi-retired minister living in Athens. He continues to serve as an interim pastor and can be reached at