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

Collins Dictionary defines a visceral reaction as conduct involving feelings that you feel very deeply and find it difficult to control.  A motorist who responds to the pace of traffic by repeatedly pressing the horn is probably a fair example.  Such behavior is also often distinguishable by the absence of level-headedness or that faculty we refer to as reason.  In the illustration just mentioned, it would not be abnormal for observers to conclude that the horn-happy traveler had temporarily lost their mind.

The last couple of years or so has been a period saturated and dominated by highly emotional (and in some cases, irrational) behavior.  Generally speaking, people have discovered a new freedom to allow unrestrained public vent of their frustrations, passions and fears.  Sadly, for way too many this discovery has become that pearl of great value, for which we seem very willing to  barter those once held and cherished norms and values that umpired our public discourse; values such as respect, dignity, compassion and humility.

As the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) the church is to be wary of allowing our feelings and emotions determine how we act or speak or think.  Even non-Christian counselors would describe someone who is motivated primarily by their feelings as being an emotionally unhealthy person.  The apostle Paul identifies this danger to believers.  Undoubtedly, the professing follower of Christ who leads with his/her feelings is not only unstable in their faith, but is one who is allowing the unsanctified minds of this world to shape and mold their attitudes and behavior.  The solution to avoiding being conformed to the spirit of this age is twofold:

1. In the first place, followers of Jesus must be intentional in filling their minds with the Word of God.  Through corporate and private study—through Scripture memorization and meditation we began to form a biblical worldview.  And we are training ourselves to think biblically about the world around us.

2. However, filling our minds with Scripture is not enough.  We become truly transformed and renewed in our minds as we are responding in obedience to the Word.  For many of us, Bible knowledge is not the problem.  Our failure lies in our forgetfulness of the truth we are learning.  Spend some time reflecting on Luke 8:18.  I’m afraid that verse describes many of professing believers in our day.

This year can be a turning point for you—for all of us.  Remember who you are.  You are a pillar and foundation of the truth.  May we began to tell the truth about our God and His Son, Jesus—not just on our walls or websites, but in our hearts and in our witness.

Pastor Mark