Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Don’t Copy and Don’t Pretend
Romans 9 - 12
Don’t copy and don’t pretend. Dear brothers and sisters,
I plead with you, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (Rm 12:2 NLT)
So often we think that Paul’s just talking about worldly behavior, telling people not to copy the destructive habits of the world. And, no doubt, he’s cautioning against that. But that’s not all he’s warning us away from. He’s telling us not to copy the world’s pictures of piety. We are not to parrot out pious behavior that we see in other people, thinking that somehow that will justify us before God. He wants us to renew our minds in the Gospel - what Christ has done for us and the reality of Christ’s presence in us.
Don’t copy the behaviors of this world, whether through license or religious performance. Life is not found in either of those things. We are to renew our minds in the reality that it is in Christ that we become a new person. That is where real life is found. Don’t simply copy the way people live. Rather, discover your new life. Have your mind renewed in that Truth. Then, in verse nine Paul says,
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. (Rm 12:9 NLT)
Because of Christ’s life that is born in you - a life that is based on God’s kindness toward you and rooted in his mercy - you have been given the privilege of learning to really love. He empowers you to express His love to those nearest and closest to you and those that are far away, even your enemies.
We can live in harmony with one another. Not paying back evil with evil. We can be honorable towards one another, living at peace with everyone, not taking revenge but trusting in God. We can learn to live and love without copying, being genuine, rooted in the real life of Christ, not pretending. All of this is accomplished, not by us, but by Christ in us. He teaches and empowers us to live and love.