Romans 12:2, NIV:  Do not conform any longer 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.

I remember as a boy watching my mother make clothes. She usually began by choosing a pattern. The pattern package was often colorfully illustrated to show what the finished product might look like. My mother would spread the material, pin the pattern to it, and begin to cut. As the pattern was followed, the finished product was fairly predictable. As we are raised, we learn how to follow patterns for living. If a situation arises in which a desired result is expected, we search our minds for a pattern that we think will produce the best results. But the patterns of thinking and behaving that we have developed often place more trust in our own reasoning and abilities than in the thoughts and ways of Christ. To be “transformed by the renewing” of our minds, means we are willing to put aside our old patterns, and be willing to try things a new way—God’s way. As a new creation in Christ, we must learn to respond to life anew. And to stop before we respond to life, and consider what He would have us do.