On Hypnosis

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

— Romans 12:2

Don’t let the world hypnotize you into inaction for the Lord. Why don’t we all do something of significance with our lives? I recall seeing a magician at a stage performance ask for a volunteer. A man came forward and was asked to sit down on a stool. The magician began to hypnotize him. Finally the man apparently fell into a deep hypnotic sleep. But before he was brought out of that sleep, the magician told him and the entire audience that could hear, “When you wake up, you will not be able to move your right arm. You will not be able to even lift your right arm. Now, you wake up at the count of three—one, two, three.”

This was a man about 40 years old, quite physically capable. When he woke up, the magician said to him, “Now, sir, would you raise your left arm?” and he did. He then said, “Now, will you raise your right arm?” the man said, “I can’t.” He didn’t know what had happened to him. No matter how hard he tried, he could not raise his right arm.

I am absolutely confident that there are many of us who can’t do many things simply because we don’t believe that we can. May God help us to not be hypnotized by the world, so that we are conformed more and more into its image. I’m reminded of how the J. B. Phillips version paraphrases Romans 12:2: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”

Dear Father, give me strength for today that I might conform myself to You and to no longer be hypnotized by this world’s negative and evil influences. Help us, Lord, to be conformed to Your image and not that of this sinful world…