In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to a struggling Apple with all the force of his abrasive genius. “Think different” became Apple’s iconic slogan for the next half-dozen years. Jobs was convinced he could change the world with his products. And he was unapologetic about the people he trampled along the way.
The apostle Paul urges believers to think different. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2). That “pattern” is the trail ruts made by Satan and followed by Steve Jobs and me and every other sinner: me first; you last. Those ruts are so deep that it seems normal to fight to be first—in family decisions or for dessert, in line for the bathroom or a Big Mac. Paul says, “Think different. Not me first, but God first”: “God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12:1,2 MSG).
When believers think different, we think of the cross. Before God demanded our loyalty, he gave us his life. On the cross, Christ chose pain and death and paid our debt. Such a radical act of love reshapes us from the inside out! We don’t just think different, we are different: newly created to serve our God and neighbor—to change the world—with every breath of our ordinary, everyday lives.