Lenten Devotional: Monday, March 9

by Janet Frick
March 9, 2015

Romans 12:1-2: 12 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.

This month we are singing a song that’s perfect for the season of Lent: “Lord, I want to make a change.” Being a psychology professor at UGA who studies infant development, the topic of change and development is one that’s at the forefront of my personal and professional interests. What is it that “makes” a baby change from a relatively helpless creature, totally dependent on care from others for survival, into a laughing, thinking individual? What is the nature of development and change? Is development a gradual process (akin to getting a little bit bigger each day) or is it a qualitative process (the caterpillar becoming a butterfly?) And perhaps more relevant to our lenten considerations, how does inner change happen in our adult lives? Is it something we can just “buck up” and take on, or is something deeper required?

Paul’s letter to the Romans suggests that the key part of standing out and being distinctive — holy, set apart — is to be transformed by the renewal of your mind. True inner change, encompassing our whole body and mind (presenting our entire beings as a “living sacrifice”, set apart for God), begins with our inner being. When our mind is renewed, when we are tuned into what is good and acceptable and perfect, then the inner process will drive outer change, and our lives will be in harmony and balance.

So as we travel through this season of reflection and renewal, let us vow daily to allow God to help us to change, starting from the inside out. It is God’s mercies that draw us ever closer to him.

Prayer of reflection: Lord I’m ready for a change, only you can make me change… please help us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, not being conformed to the hustle and materialism of the world, but being tuned into your love and spirit, walking and living in harmony with you. Amen.