By Marissa Briones
“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 12:2 ESV)
One of my favorite movies is the musical romantic comedy “Singin’ in The Rain” that stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Just for context, let me tell you a little about the movie. In the film, Debbie Reynolds plays Kathy who was hired to be the voice of Jean Hagen (Lina), a movie star who has a shrill voice. It wasn’t a problem in silent movies, but it becomes a real dilemma when the studio launches into talking pictures. So Kathy becomes the singing and talking voice of Lina. Everything that Lina spoke and sang was re-dubbed with Kathy’s voice.
I learned a life lesson from this movie when I recently searched the city library database looking for music CDs of Debbie Reynolds. I was confused as to how a woman with such a nice voice and a hit movie did not have a single music recording in her name. After searching online, I found out the truth, and it made me shake my head because I had believed something that wasn’t true for such a long time up to that point. As it turns out, Debbie Reynolds was the one lip-synching the whole time! Her singing voice was dubbed by Betty Noyes, a singer who was uncredited in the film. Then at one point in the movie, Debbie Reynolds is portrayed dubbing over Jean Hagen’s lines, but it was actually Jean’s beautiful voice that is heard. So it was a case of Debbie dubbing Jean who dubbed Debbie. How bizarre!
Have you believed something that is not true? Sometimes, for one reason or another, we have started to believe error and falsehood. More painfully stated, we have believed something that is unbiblical. Whether we have been taught about it when we were starting out, or someone told us something and we readily believed without checking it for accuracy, or that we found it easier to believe rather than to look for answers or clarification, no excuse is acceptable for believing untruth. Ultimately, we believe because we want to regardless of our motivation.
It’s time that we renew our minds. To renew is to completely change our minds for the better. The problem is that the world wants us to conform and be like one that belongs to it. But having been born again, we now have a new nature. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Our newness involves the way that we think. Thankfully, God works in us to change us – no, to transform us and make us more like Christ (Romans 8:29). The word transform conveys a dramatic and complete change. The Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines it as “to change radically in inner character, condition, or nature.” Butterflies are an excellent example of a transformation as they take on a completely different form, from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
This transforming work is something that only God can accomplish, but we were given some work to do. This is the reason why we’re told to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He has given the instructions and has also supplied the tool we need: His Word.
John Robbins said that “the Bible claims to have a monopoly on truth.” And that is a true statement based on what Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Because God revealed this to us, we can know that the Bible is trustworthy and true. We can confidently have our mind shaped by Scripture and replace wrong thinking with biblical thinking.
The Bereans that Paul commended in Acts 17:11 model this for us. “Now the Berean Jews…received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (NIV) They used the Bible to verify what Paul preached. The Bible was for them, and still is for us, the standard of truth. To quote Jay E. Adams, he said “There is no standard apart from God’s divinely imposed objective Standard, the Bible.” The Scriptures stand the test of time, generation after generation for we are told that “…the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25)
R. C. Sproul summarized it well: “Christian thinking is to be molded by the entire Bible….” ❤️