“Do not conform 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.” – Romans 12:2, ESV
The pattern of this world is that selfish system of ambition that absorbs almost everyone and everything. It not only asserts man’s autonomy against God, but causes people to see others only in terms of the value they get out of them. It’s a vicious cycle of competition and judging that only kills.
So to not conform is to not only side with God (salvation), but to actually want to help, love and be concerned for our fellow man, above ourselves, or as verse one says, “self-sacrificially”. How do you test or prove such things? You judge not only the end of what is being done, but also who will be glorified by it and if it comes at anyone’s expense. To stop and “count the cost” of our actions measures not only our love for God, but of how much we have conformed to the image of Christ to be able to love others and see ourselves, not as lone wolf Christians, but as part of a larger covenant community. If love for God and neighbor are our highest calling, then community, and bearing one another’s burdens in the here and now, is part of our daily spiritual act of worship.