Unleash your best self: Monitor your mind’s consumption

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind Romans 12:2A moment ago I didn’t know, but the before-and-after pictures informed my thinking. Now I want… no… I need:

  • the organized closet and
  • the manicured garden and
  • the fit and trim body.

Stunning social media photos spur comparison. Our vacation was only in-state. Their home is gorgeous. My children aren’t as accomplished. Tell me, how do you feel after a social media binge?

Attractive advertisements delight our desires and unveil some previously unknown. Contentment vanishes. Who we are, what we do, and what we have…. it seems shabby. I want that. That will solve my problems. Then I’ll be happy.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7What we read, what we listen to, and what we watch, including what we unconsciously absorb, influences our thinking. And what we think is who we become. So each of us benefits by asking:

Who do I want to become?

God designed us to share His heart, values, and desires by thinking like Him. The path toward our best self starts with our mind.


Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a NIV

Some Bibles translate this “do not be conformed (KJV, NRSV)” and others translate it “do not conform (NIV, NLT)”. Both translations of the original Greek are accurate.

Sometimes we are passive recipients of the world’s themes. Other times we are both agents and recipients, in other words, we choose what we feed our minds and are affected by that nourishment.

The Apostle Paul clearly urges believers to think like Jesus:

Have the same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other as Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

This is the fork in the path to becoming your best self –
the person God designed you to be.
This is the choice you have to make over and over again.
This is a question to ask regularly, perhaps every day:

What am I feeding my mind?

It’s difficult to avoid and resist popular culture’s pervasive influence. Awareness helps us actively choose the content we consume. Otherwise, Netflix, social media, and marketing firms will shape our values and opinions.

By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Romans 16:18They woo us with the brightly smiling faces of fit and trim, fashionably dressed actors in shiny cars. They define happiness from the world’s view.

They also help define our attitudes about people. Someone with imperfect or missing teeth might be judged differently than one with pearly whites. Overweight individuals might be categorized as lacking self-control while the physically fit perceived as self-disciplined achievers.

My dirty, bright blue 2009 standard transmission Toyota Matrix gets looks. A few are impressed by the stick shift. Many laugh. Most shake their head or recommend an upgrade. Certainly, some pity me.

But I value a car’s ability to reliably transport me safely from point A to point B with low gas consumption. I derive pleasure from driving a car to the end of its useful life.

Don’t let the world define who and what is valuable.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)

Treasure is far more than money. God’s creation and His creatures are treasures. Friends and family are treasures. Relationships are treasures. Our stories are treasures. What do you value?

Let’s pause for a self-check. In the past week:

  • Did the music or podcasts you consumed influence you more toward the world or toward God?
  • Recall 5 things you read (books, articles, social posts, Bible)? How did they affect your attitudes?
  • What did you watch (news, sports, streaming, reels, worship)? What advertisements do you remember seeing? How did the content and images define happiness?
  • Who did you hang out with (in person and virtual friends, online groups or influencers)? Did anyone help you become more like Jesus?

Based on this health check,
how balanced is your mind’s diet?

Based on your thoughts this week,
who are you becoming?

Take time to answer these questions, keep track during the week ahead, or simply become aware as you move through life.

Increasingly fill your mind with God’s truth. Ask the Spirit to give you the mind of Jesus.

God’s before and after picture of your transformation will exceed expectations.

After God’s interruption last week, I returned to Romans 12 and the words conform, renew, and transform. It’s too exciting for one post – so look for transforming renewal and its context next week.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice 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. Romans 12:1-2

#SeedsofScripture #scripturestudy #readthebiblebetter #apostlepaul #renewyourmind #renewingyourmind #youbecomewhatyouthink #romans12 #mindofchrist #donotconformtothisworld


  1. J.D. Wininger on August 17, 2023 at 9:17 AM

    Amen my friend. Have learned that comparing myself to “the world” only invites worldly thinking to enter my life. My acid test of comparison is real simple. Does it align with God’s Word and the life of Christ? If it points to God and aligns with His Word, then I should compare my life to that standard. If it points away from God, then I should turn away/shun it. I wish I could tell you that I apply it perfectly and am never lured away, but then I’m not sure I’d still be human. LOL I mentioned elsewhere this week that I don’t think God wants us to be perfect while we’re here on earth because it’s in the struggle that we need Him and the value is brings in strengthening our faith. Enjoyed as always ma’am.

  2. Nancy J Smith on August 28, 2023 at 10:57 AM

    You hit the nail on the head Cathy! Using your checklist I can tell you my input has been greatly unbalanced! I get easily sife tracked by time wasters lately…. time to “switch channels”

    • CathyChung on August 30, 2023 at 6:09 PM

      I’m right there with you. It was a wake-up call for me as I kill time on Facebook and Instagram. So instead I started reading a book last night for an upcoming book discussion – Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg.

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