My wife and I had a good laugh at the pharmacy recently.
We own a 14-year-old cock-a-poo called Sugar. Convenient for her, Sugar is mostly deaf in her old age, so when we yell at her to get out of the garbage, she is blissfully unaware and continues to chomp down. Her deafness gives her at least a few more seconds to continue whatever annoying thing she is doing.
Don’t get me wrong, Sugar has been a great dog, but in the end she is still a dog and will do what dogs do.
But recently she has been having some health problems, an unusually persistent cough. Though my wife disagrees, I think we spent more money at the vet than we should have, and Sugar was diagnosed with an inflammation in her throat.
The dog doctor prescribed a bout of, an anti-inflammatory, and as well medication to stop the coughing. The vet told my wife that we would need to pick up that second drug at a human pharmacy, as she emailed the prescription.
When we arrived at the pharmacy to pick up the order, my wife who has a nursing background, looked at the prescription for Lomotil and said that this was the wrong drug because it is used to stop diarrhea. The pharmacist said yes it was for diarrhea, but added that is what was ordered.
“But we need a drug for our dog to stop her cough,” replied my wife
Unaware that the prescription was for a dog, with a puzzled look the pharmacist went to the back to take a second look at the order. I watched him as he then went on his computer and after several minutes I saw a smile on his face, and he returned.
He told us that while the drug is used to stop diarrhea in humans, in dogs it works as a great cough suppressant.
Apparently dogs are different from humans.
We had a good laugh.
And this is the point that Paul was trying to make in Romans 12:2, when he wrote:
2 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)
In this verse, Paul tells us that we need to be transformed. The Greek word for transformed is “metamorphoō” and refers to a complete and radical change.
It is the word from which we get the English word metamorphosis that describes the miraculous transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. After making a cocoon, a caterpillar literally dissolves into a puddle of enzymes and then re-forms into a butterfly. How this evolved by chance is beyond explanation.
Through this process, the caterpillar is so completely changed inwardly and outwardly that it can no longer eat leaves to live and the Apostle Paul says that in the same way Christians also need to be transformed.
We are supposed to be different from what we were in the past.
Now here is where it gets difficult, because we are not transformed by being born again, but rather by the renewing of our minds. In other words we need to change the way we think and since it is you and me who need our minds transformed, God wants us to change the way we think about ourselves. We need to change our thinking patterns.
Our thinking needs to be in line with how God thinks about us. We need to grasp the reality that we are children of God (1 John 3:2) with all the benefits and privileges that come with that.
Some people hate themselves for any number of reasons as they compare themselves to others. But God does not hate us, He loves us with an everlasting love. We need to love ourselves as God loves us (Jeremiah 31:3).
Others call themselves stupid, some even do it verbally, when they make a mistake. The Bible says we are not stupid, in fact we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
Maybe you rehearse past failures in your mind again and again. God says He has cast our sins into the ocean never to be remembered again. We need to forgive and forget as God did for us (Micah 7:19).
You may be one of those who constantly beats yourself down, while God wants to lift you up (Leviticus 26:13).
All these negative things we think about ourselves are lies. We are transformed as we reject those thoughts and start believing what the Bible says about us. It will be one of the most difficult, yet transformative, things you do.
Apparently, we are supposed to be different.