So, for the past two months, we have been studying the Romans 12 for about 10 minutes before the sermon as a community. I have never been to a church where the community works through a passage together to understand, at a greater level, how these words penned by the authors of the Bible, meant. This has been a dynamic experience for me. I am truly thankful to learn from others within my community of faith. This past Sunday, we discussed a small phrase: do not conform to the patterns of the world.
As I began to study the words slowly, my eyes kept returning to the word ‘patterns.’ Sitting there contemplating the word ‘patterns,’ I thought about how ‘patterns’ are made. A pattern is made with the use of a template. The template is like a stamp. It provides a picture of what each pattern will look like. It is the ‘master pattern.’ Thus, as I read the words ‘do not conform to the patterns of the world,’ I have to consider the source of the pattern the world gives us. I have to ask some serious questions that hopefully will dig deep into my soul and burn away the dross of my heart. Here are a few questions we should be asking ourselves:
What templates do I own that make the patterns of my life? What do these templates look like? Do these templates I own in my own life make patterns that reflect the world or that reflect my relationship with God?
We need to be honest about these patterns that are produced through the templates we possess. If we possess templates, which do not reflect our relationship with Christ, we need to destroy them. There should be no reason to hold on to templates that create patterns that the world. There are of no use to us. It is the templates in which the Bible calls for us to possess we need to seek. These templates create patterns that show forth our love for Christ.
I do not know the templates in which anyone else but myself possess. I do not know how they have affected the patterns in their lives. All I know: I need to continually work on understanding the templates I have picked up along the way. As I continually study the templates in my own life (destroying the templates that are of the world and gathering templates that are God honoring), the patterns that are created will show forth who I am in Christ. This is exactly the kind of person I want to be. God bless