“Stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:2, New World Translation.
“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.”—Romans 12:2, New International Version.
Meaning of Romans 12:2
Those who want to please God must not only reject negative influences but also change their personality. God does not force them to change; they do so because they love him and realize that his requirements are kind and reasonable and bring benefits.—Isaiah 48:17.
“Stop being molded by this system of things.” The “system of things,” that is, the world of human society with its standards, practices, and manners, does not reflect God’s values or thinking. (1 John 2:15-17) It exerts constant pressure on people, which can mold, or shape, their behavior and personality. To worship God acceptably, a person must resist the world’s influence, otherwise he will develop traits that are harmful to himself and that are displeasing to God.—Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19.
“Be transformed by making your mind over.” A person must also work on changing his innermost attitudes and feelings. The extent to which this must be done is indicated by the Greek word translated “be transformed,” which describes a change similar to that of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Those who worship God must put on a “new personality.”—Ephesians 4:23, 24; Colossians 3:9, 10.
“Prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” God wants those who worship him to be fully convinced of what they believe. Such ones do this by studying God’s Word, applying what it says, and experiencing the benefits of living by God’s standards. Thus, they prove for themselves that God’s ways are best.—Psalm 34:8.
Context of Romans 12:2
Romans chapter 12 explains what is involved in offering God acceptable worship. Such worship touches every aspect of life and requires that a person use his “power of reason” instead of acting on blind faith or misguided emotion. (Romans 12:1, 3) The chapter contains practical counsel on how to display godly qualities, how to deal with others, and how to react when mistreated.—Romans 12:9-21.