Romans 12:2 is the most iconic and perhaps important verse on how we are transformed. Transformed by the renewing of our mind. Never forget that. But, it is not the only thing the Bible says about how we are transformed. This verse is equally important:

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 2 Corinthians 3:18a (ESV)

We become what we behold. We wind up like what we worship. We advance toward what we adore.

It is true in many arenas in life. Again, an example from tennis. Research shows that people who watch great tennis players become better. This is especially true if they imagine themselves moving like the pros.

Many amateurs report that seeing tennis played at the highest level improves their own games.

Watching tennis and playing it can be mutually helpful activities, dialectically entwined.

Jon Levey, a writer and avid player said: “I always play better after watching the pros. Their form shows you that less is more. They move their body weight into the ball much better than I do. Everything seems to work in symmetry. After the Open, I suddenly know how to hit ‘up’ on my serve, like they do.[1]

This is part of what makes idolatry so dangerous. Not only is it a slap in God’s face, it is damaging to us. Idolatry hurts the idolater.

What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration.

God has made humans to reflect him, but if they do not commit themselves to him, they will not reflect him but something else in creation. At the core of our beings we are imaging creatures. It is not possible to be neutral on this issue: we either reflect the Creator or something in creation.[2]

What exactly does worship do? How does it change us? I can think of at least two ways.


[2] We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry by G. K. Beale

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