In my last post, The Problem, I explored the apostle Paul’s explanation of how people go from bad to worse, ultimately having a “depraved mind,” which leads to all kinds of sinful behavior. Is there a solution? Once a person heads down the wrong road, is there a road that leads home?

Thankfully, the answer is “Yes!” It’s given in the first verses of Romans 12 (text emphasis mine):

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

It is understandable enough, though perhaps not obvious to some, that a depraved mind needs renewal. Renewal then leads to transformation of our lives, which leads to “good and acceptable and perfect” behavior. Quite a different scenario than the long list of negative behaviors in Romans 1.

Do people who are headed down the wrong road know that they are going there? Yes. Most don’t care, or even willingly embrace their rebellious behavior. Let’s review Romans 1:18:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Suppression of the truth is an intentional act. Those headed down this road away from God have chosen to go there.

Life is a process. We make choices all the time, every day. I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and am thus – to continue the metaphor – heading down the right road, but I often take side trips or even turn back for a time by making bad choices. One thing I have learned along the way is that God highly values people’s free will. He won’t force us to take the road that leads to Him. But taking that road is the key to knowledge of the spiritual side of life, and the key to knowing God Himself. Personally, I’d rather be on that road than the one that leads to a depraved mind.