A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
The ongoing investigation into last week’s shooting massacre in San Bernardino, California has revealed that the shooters may have been radicalized. The word radicalized is a verb used to define someone who has adopted an extreme position on social or political issues and has been trained to think according to a particular ideology. In the case of terrorism, when one is radicalized, the end result is promoting oppression and destruction of all who do not agree with you.
There is a similar term in the Bible, with a positive emphasis, which is used to describe how the followers of Jesus Christ should think and act. As Paul begins the application section of Romans, he writes in chapter 12 “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word transformed is the root for the word metamorphosis, which depicts a radical or complete change. Everyone who has confessed Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior, has been given a new nature and, therefore, undergoes a revolutionary change in thinking and conduct. We now have the mind of Christ which is cultivated by spending time in the Word of God and prayer. Following the example of Christ, we live to glorify and magnify God by reflecting His character in a dark world.
Recent events have reminded all of us that certain forms of radicalization are dangerous and must be stopped. But the message of Jesus Christ positively transforms the lives of all those who receive it and the change will be obvious. Based on what you say and do this week, would others agree that you have been radicalized by the Savior?