Play-doh is spiritual, as every three year old knows. You can shape it into anything you want. You can make a snake, a doll, a castle, a car, an animal or something that hasn’t been made yet. Even cooler yet is when you take the mutli-colored Play-doh (is there any other color after a few uses?), pack it in one of those molds and press the dough through to squeeze it out the other end in the shape of a star or crescent moon or other really cool geometrical design.
Come to think of it, Transformers are spiritual too. It is one thing, like a vehicle, and presto-chango, with a few moves, it becomes something else very different like a robot. If you don’t think these toys have significant spiritual substance, I want to tell you they’re in the Bible. Well, okay, so they’re not mentioned specifically, like by name, but if they had been invented back then, I bet they would be called by name. Now having properly set you up, look for these toys in the following verse. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Now you see the Play-doh and Transformers too? I knew you would. Paul, the writer of Romans, warns us not to copy the behavior and customs of this world. One translation puts it like this: “don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold…”. Paul is signaling to us to not let other people who are not seeking after God think for us or just do what they do. It’s pretty obvious this isn’t the best way to go. Our own experience validates that, as some of our biggest hurts have probably come as a result of letting that happen. Instead Paul gives us the solution to having peace of mind. He says “let God transform you by changing the way you think.” Notice he doesn’t say “by changing the way you feel.” What and how we think will rule our lives. Here’s a harsh truth- our feelings will get us in trouble if we let them lead, because feelings are circumstantial, and circumstances change. Have you ever heard someone say when they realized they have blown it, “What was I feeling??” No, they say, “What was I thinking?”
We all need help here, because we are fallen and broken creatures, and the Evil One loves to use our feelings to shape our thoughts than can lead us to self-destruction. So as Paul points to the truth, let us let God transform us… by changing the way we think. “Transform” comes from the same root word as “metamorphosis”, changing from one form to something entirely different. So, here’s the wake up and pay attention part, the “so what” of this whole entry- make a point to think about things that are of God. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
Our thoughts are Play-doh. Let the Transformer shape them for you so you can live in His will, which is good… and pleasing… and perfect.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.