This article was a reminder how the “world” (to use a Biblical term) continues to pressure young girls to “conform” to a particular image. I have spent a lot of time talking to young men and women. A recurring problem I see is the idolatry of appearance. Young ladies, in particular, are susceptible to the the low-self esteem and need for acceptance that leads to eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviors associated with image problems. A young lady who is a senior in high school recently said that she just didn’t know who she was anymore. The problem? She had spent a lot of time looking for security, identity, and belonging in her appearance and relationships. When these things failed to deliver meaning and purpose she felt lost. The only answer is clearly to find her identity in Jesus Christ.
In small group the other night, we were going over Romans 12:1-2.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We spent a lot of time identifying the molds into which the world was pressing us. We also tried to figure out what it meant to be “transformed” by the “renewing of our minds.”
We came to a few mutual conclusions:
1. We need to identify the “pattern[s] of this world.”
2. Our lives are lived in response to what God has done for us through Jesus.
3. Transformation requires thought (i.e. mind). I have to be self-aware and self-critical if I am ever going to identify the areas in my life that need to change.
4. I do not need to find the magical will of God, I need to “prove” the revealed will of God which is, primarily, to submit my entire life to God as an act of worship.