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Romans 12:1–8 ‘Do not conform 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.’ (v2)

Leave something organic in the wrong place and it decomposes. Initially unseen, once rot sets in then items are difficult to restore to pristine condition. This fully represents the reality of our mortal life. We engage in a battle between ‘deformation’ and ‘reformation’. Jesus describes how our eye is drawn instinctively to those things in the world that carry no intrinsic value (Matt. 6:19–20). Given that we are naturally drawn towards character deformation (Gen. 3:6), our deliberate, wilful action is required to direct our steps towards reformation, and Scripture is full of guidance on how we can do this. Each of us must ‘test and approve what God’s will is’. This can never be either assumed or taken for granted, and its foundations lie within God’s Word. 

Our self-evaluation is often on the basis of the value others place upon us. Or through our success at work, in wealth creation, even our public generosity. However, the only value that matters is the inestimable significance placed upon us by God. Is this sufficient to serve our own need for self-esteem? Naturally we seek to measure ourselves by objective criteria, something that is easily communicated and appreciated by others. 

Yet, since all the good that we do is ‘like filthy rags’ before God (Isa. 64:6), we need to learn to find confidence and satisfaction in God’s acceptance and love alone. Humility expresses itself when we are content to be silent in the face of God’s grace. Being known by God is the summit of meaningful existence

Scripture to consider: Job 14:13–22; Isa. 64:1–8; 2 Cor. 4:7–18; 1 Pet. 1:13–21. 

An action to take: If you struggle with insecurity, it is essential to talk this through with God. What does being loved by the creator of all mean to you personally?

A prayer to make: ‘Lord, may I discover that my real value is only found in being loved by You. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.