By Mason Harris
When writing to the Romans, the apostle Paul said, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
It is generally true that man is conditioned by outside influences, which surround him. He has a tendency to be conditioned by the persons with whom he associates, and by the objects he contemplates. He imbibes the opinions, copies the habits, imitates the manners, and falls into the customs of those with whom he has daily contact. When one becomes a Christian, his life is to undergo a change – a transformation. And this transformation is to come about by renewing the mind. Any attempt to transform the life without renewing the mind will finally end in failure, because out of the heart are the issues of life.
The method by which this renewal can be accomplished is summed tip by the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” By this process one can create his own environment for his mind. Though he may be surrounded by all forms of evil, by turning his thoughts to things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, -and by thinking upon these things, he can stand alone among evil men and be at peace with God.
Noah was not conditioned to live as the world about him, and Lot stood alone in the city of Sodom. Their home was in the midst of wicked people. But they walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, they did not stand in the way of sinners, and they did not sit in the seat of the scornful. But their delight was in the Lord, and in his law they meditated day and night. And though the world about them was destroyed, these men stood like a tree by the rivers of water ach in his own age. And we may shield ourselves from our present society in the same way.
Whatsoever is true and honest, just and pure, lovely and have good report, – think on these things. And the stream will be made pure at the fountain.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 32, p. 2
June 14, 1973