Difficult situations, difficult people, or just the opposite, great situations and great people as we experience them shape the way we think about ourselves. If we are healthy, we do not enjoy pain. So we tend to do things, learn strategies that prevent us from experiencing pain. So from the life situations we begin to develop strategies that put us more in better situations with better people to avoid the difficult ones.
For instance we may have been around someone early in our lives that had a very short, bewildering fuse. We were not sure what set them off but when they were set off it was not pleasant. We may decide that we are going to do everything we can to avoid setting anyone off ever again. That could translate into avoiding all forms of conflict.
So we think in our heart that since conflict is painful, we will strive to avoid it. The problem arises as we grow in Christ, that part of being a follower of Him requires us to confront sin not only in our lives but in the lives of those around us. Conflict.
That’s where Romans 12:2 comes in. We have to have our thinking transformed. In a sense we have to reprogram our, in Proverbs 12:7 terms, our thinking hearts. We have to learn to trust Christ, to think, that following Him is a better strategy than following what we think might work.
That is not easy. Trusting Christ in doing what we think will hurt can be terrifying. But that is the assignment.