Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines adapt as “to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification.”

Often by modification.  How else could you adapt something?  I guess, you could force a square peg into a round hole to make it fit.  But this doesn’t really seem like adaption as much as coercion.

Merriam-Webster goes on to explain that the root is apt, meaning suitable.  “Something apt fits just right into a situation.  To adapt is to change in order to fit in a situation better.”

In our lives, there are many things we need to adapt to.  We bend or allow ourselves to be forced into a new situation.  This is how we get through our day.  But even though we adapt, we can refuse to change.  The square peg hasn’t really been made fit. It hasn’t adapted to anything.  If we pry the square peg out, it might have a few dents but it’s still square.

We conform rather than being transformed.

Transform is a related word to adapt.  In transformation, change is assumed, even required.  Transformation is not temporary.  There is no going back.  Maybe this is why we talk about transformation in church rather than adaption. We are not called simply to adapt to the world around us but to become fit for a new use.


————– five minutes are up

New wine requires new wineskins.  Dying and rising with Christ in our baptism, we are a new creation.  Change occurs.  We are not simply adapted for our new life but we are transformed into a newness that isn’t merely being bent or conformed into a new position but changed in order to fit (or live into) our new situation better.  We don’t stay a square peg and we don’t become a round peg.  The whole is now a triangle and we are transformed to become a triangle peg.

Adaption is good and necessary.  Transformation is a gift, the reality of the newness of life.  May we adapt as we need to, but let us be transformed into who God is shaping us to be.

  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Transformation is a gift, the reality of the newness of life. Click To Tweet


It’s Five Minute Friday: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write. 




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3 Thoughts to “adapt”

  1. A lot to think about here. Thank you for sharing your reflections. I truly enjoy where you went with this.

    1. lifeinthelabyrinth

      Thank you.

  2. I love that we went in so similar a direction as it confirmed for me what I was to learn from this word prompt. Grateful you stopped at my post and shared your thoughts here. Blessed by your words!

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