“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:1-2 NET
Let me start by saying I am no cook. I’ve tried and tried but it’s just not something that will ever be in my wheelhouse. However, I have many friends who would consider themselves grill-masters. One of the secrets they have passed on to me is the meat they cook is only as good as the preparation. You have to set the meat in some type of sauce and/or seasoning and let it soak a while. While the meat is sitting in their secret sauce, it is slowly overtaken by the flavors.
That’s what the word “conformed” means in the verse above. The greek word Paul uses indicates a passive notion which means it happens, in part, subconsciously. This basically means the best way to become like anything, you just need to hang around it long enough. The longer you marinate in something, the more you begin to take on its characteristics.
So, with that thought in mind, here are a few ways to become more like “the world:”
1. Do not read your Bible.
If you want to become like “the world” you are going to have to put your Bible away. As you read God’s Word, you learn more about Him. Reading the Bible helps you learn about His character, how He loves you, and His plans for your life. This is going to draw you closer to God so, instead, you need a steady diet of pretty much anything else. I would suggest mainstream news, social media scrolling, and YouTube commentaries. They will give you a really good education on thinking the way the world thinks. Zig Ziglar use to say, “Every morning I read the Bible and the newspaper so I can see what both sides are up to.”
2. Do not talk to God.
If you want to be like “the world” you must really avoid this one. Talking to God after reading His Word is one of the quickest ways to get closer to God so you’re going to have to resist this temptation. Jesus asks us to come to Him when we are weary and heavy laden with the cares of this life so we can find rest in Him. If you are wanting to become more like the world, you must avoid this at all cost. Instead, I recommend engaging in social media wars and endless arguments about stuff that really doesn’t matter. This will be a nice way to ramp up your anxiety and fears about everything around you.
3. Do not hang around God’s people.
If you want to be like “the world” never, never hang around other people who are seeking after God. This is really dangerous because Jesus said that if two or three gather together, seeking after Him, He would be there too. It’s around God’s family that we get encouragement, strength, and a chance to use our gifts to make a difference. Instead, I recommend leaning into superficial relationships on social media, isolate yourself from human interaction, and numb yourself by watching fake relationships on Netflix. Live vicariously through them. I wonder if that is why reality tv shows are so popular these days. You can feel like you know someone without having to do the hard work of getting to know someone. Just a thought.
4. Do not share your faith with others.
If you want to be like “the world” this last one is going to be nonnegotiable. You absolutely CANNOT share your faith experiences with others. Under no circumstances can you tell other people about what Jesus Christ has done in your life and the hope you have in salvation. This will set your heart on fire for God and that’s simply will not do. Instead, I recommend validating everyone else’s experiences. Tell them that truth is subjective and “their truth” is all that really matters. Tell them all roads lead to God and they don’t really have to do anything other than what makes them feel good. Make sure they know God doesn’t have any standards and if He doesn’t make sense in any way, just change things until He fits their worldview and desires.
Obviously, this list is intended to be sarcastic but hopefully you get the point. Conforming to the standards of the world can really be summed up into doing nothing more than just passively wandering through life. Becoming more like Jesus every day requires intentionality and focus. However, it’s worth it.