What does it take to stop conforming and start transforming?
Sometimes, it takes an embarrassing situation to turn a life around.
Like throwing in a hissy fit in the middle school parking lot of your children’s school.
Our sweet little angels are oblivious to the fact that we are impatiently waiting for them to come out those school doors so we can drive them to the next stop on their sports and activities list.
They only become aware of our impatience when they see their mom having a meltdown in the parking lot.
Yes, that afternoon will be forever remembered in our family. Yes, my boys were late getting out of school, but for a good reason– they stayed after to help a teacher. I was so focused on getting to our next destination on time; I erupted with anger because we would be late to practice again.
At the time in my life, I was tired, emotionally drained, and spiritually depleted. But, I didn’t have boundaries, so when someone asked me to do something, I did it. I couldn’t risk saying no, because as a Christian, I had been taught to have a servant’s heart. So, I said yes to everything. Can you bring this? Can you volunteer to run this? Can you? Can you? Can you?
I wasn’t transforming in the image of Christ; I was conforming to the world.
By letting my desires to please others, my spiritual life was in a drought and lukewarm. The fire that I once had for Christ was almost extinguished. I was going through the motions with my relationship with Him. I showed up for church, filled in the blanks for the women’s Bible study book, and that was it. My family no longer had a happy wife and mom but a stressed-out, stretched-thin wife and mom.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 12:2 (ESV) “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.”
You can’t be transformed in the image of Christ and conform to the world at the same time; it’s either one or the other.
The melt-down in the middle school parking turned out to be one of my biggest blessings. It’s when I begin saying no to others and yes to Jesus.
I turned my wait time in the school parking lot into my time with Him. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media, I started reading my Bible. From there, I started meditating on the Word. And I started getting up early to begin my day with silence and solitude.
As my fire reignited for Jesus, I engaged more in these spiritual habits.
What Exactly are Spiritual Habits?
The word discipline sounds like we are being forced to do it. On the other hand, the word habit sounds like something we are willingly doing. As a strong-willed, somewhat stubborn person, I am more likely to engage in something I want to do than what I am forced to do.
A quick Google search of “What are the spiritual disciplines?” will result in varying opinions from faith bloggers to experts on the subject.
Author Richard Foster has an excellent book entitled, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. He categorizes the disciplines as three types: inward, outward, and corporate. Inward habits are meditation, prayer, fasting, and studying the Word. Outward habits are simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. Corporate habits— activities usually associated with church—include confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.
Another book that focuses on the spiritual habits is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. Whitney expands on the spiritual disciplines that Foster writes about and adds in evangelism, journaling, and learning.
In her book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transforms Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun lists numerous practices that we can engage in to start down the path to spiritual transformation.
In my book Transformed, Not Conformed: Embracing a Life-Changing Approach to Spiritual Habits, I focus on seven habits that I engage in. They are:
- Silence and Solitude
Here’s the great thing about spiritual habits; you’ve probably been doing them all along. You don’t call them spiritual habits. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar or theologian to engage in these habits. You need time and a love for Jesus.
If you are struggling in your faith and feeling the world’s pressures, it’s time to ignite or reignite a love for Christ and a hunger for Him that is truly life-changing. It’s time to start transforming and stop conforming!
Transformed, Not Conformed Book
To order a copy of my brand new book, Transformed, Not Conformed: Embracing a Life-Changing Approach to Spiritual Habits please click here.
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My name is Missy, and I love Jesus!
I am a Christ-follower, wife, mom, author, and speaker.
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