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I got a perm!

I’ve been contemplating getting a perm for quite a while now. I finally got up the nerve to go and have it done. Even though I asked for a loose curl, I have quite a tight bunch of curls now all over my head. As I stood staring at my new hairdo, I started thinking about how exactly a perm works. When I looked it up on Google, I learned that the first thing that happens is that a solution is applied that breaks the bonds in the molecules that make my hair straight. Then, a second solution is applied that reactivates those molecules. But since the hair is wound around the curlers, the hair takes the shape of the curlers.

The idea of the “old hair” first being broken down, and then the “new hair” being made reminded me of what happens when we become a Christian. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he told them that “we should be living sacrifices, set apart to do God’s will, putting off the old self and putting on the new, acting like the new people that God has declared us to be.” In his letter to the Ephesians, he told them to “lay aside the old self” and to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which is in the likeness of God.” Paul used the term “transformed” when speaking about this change that takes place. Again, when writing to the Romans he exhorts them to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.”

When we are saved, God leaves us on this earth to go through this process of transformation. In Bridges’ book The Discipline of Grace, he looks at two different texts and two different ways the Bible speaks about the goal of the Christian life. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that “we are being transformed into [Christ’s] likeness” while Romans 8:29 states that God “predestined [all believers] to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” Bridges says, “Christlkeness is God’s goal for all who trust in Christ, and that should be our goal also.”

Both words, transformed and conformed, have a common root – form – that means a pattern or a mold. “Being transformed” refers to the process; conformed refers to the finished product. Jesus is our pattern or mold. We are being transformed so that we will eventually be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. It is my desire that I would become more and more Christlike as I grow in my Christian faith, so that ultimately, it is Christ that you see, and no longer the old me.

Just as my hair was transformed through the process of the perm, it was conformed to the image of the roller. Who knows? Maybe you won’t recognize me with my new curly hairdo! Now, that would be quite the transformation!

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.

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