by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 HCSB
I don’t think I’m all that vain, but I do think this song is probably about me. I mean really, what if the song actually is about me?
A lot of people think I’m completely self-absorbed, but I have to tell you, I’m pretty sure I can absorb even more of me. So, not completely absorbed. Not yet.
Whenever I’m struggling with some sort of pride issue, though, I figure a good way to turn things around is to get into a hammock. Just try to hang on to any shred of smugness as you’re writhing yourself in or out of a hammock. Nope. Bye-bye, dignity.
It takes some complicated physics to get in that hammock, stay in it, and then get out again. I’ve never understood physics. That’s why my hammock stories so often end with an inelegant face-plant. Yep, bye-bye, dignity and hello, dirt.
The challenge for me seems to lie in not totally losing my mind, living somewhere between singing a song I’m sure is about me and eating dirt. Things can so easily get twisted. Yes, the hammock. But also that struggle to wrap our minds around balancing humility and self-abasement, confidence and pride.
In Romans 12:2, just after Paul has urged us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God (vs. 1), he says, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (HCSB).
So hey, we’re not meant to lose our minds. We’re meant to renew them. In the very next verse, Paul says, “I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly” (vs. 3 HCSB).
“Think sensibly” is from the Greek, sophroneo, which means “to save,” and phren, which means “mind.” So what we have here is, literally, a “saved mind.”
Every time we get a bit hung up on thinking too often of ourselves, thinking too highly of ourselves, and singing too loudly about ourselves, we can swing it right back around to a sensible place of nonconformity to everything our culture tells us we deserve. We can instead have a saved, transformed, renewed mind—one that understands His will. So this is sensible.
We’re always the most satisfied in life as we’re thinking and operating outside ourselves, less focused on successes vs. face-plants. Life swings in blissful balance as we’re instead engaged in the kingdom of Christ and in focusing our every thought on the God who is all.
Andrew Murray said, “Humility is nothing, but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”
I love that. I want to climb into that thought and rest peacefully there.
The balance between humility and pride isn’t about thinking badly of ourselves or eating dirt. It’s certainly not in thinking every song is about me, either. We’re taught all through Scripture to focus in humility on the grace of God, to love Him more than anything, to present ourselves wholly to Him, and in all of it, to rely on and fully trust in Him for the strength we need.
There’s a beautiful visual of that trust in Isaiah 40:31 (HCSB): “But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles.”
We can trust Him to sort out our pride/humility issues, too. It’s one more little trust-flight on eagle’s wings. Or sometimes a flight on hammock swings. Whichever. He’s got this.
This article has been brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and an award-winning humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 17 books, including the Fix-Her-Upper books, co-authored with Beth Duewel, and the hilarious novels, Turtles in the Road and Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated, both co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea.
Rhonda and Kaley have a new novel, Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated. When the Heartcast Channel Movie division announces they’ll briefly be allowing submissions for new Christmas movies, Harlow finds herself paired with a reluctant co-star. Jack Bentley may be the biggest Heartcast Original Movie name in the business, but he is anything but formulaic.
Join the conversation: In what attitudes do you have trouble balancing?