“And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
I woke up with this thought so clear on my mind, then a dear friend of mine sent this to me two hours later. So often, we put others in boxes, instead of seeking to understand one another or to go deeper in knowledge. We judge without seeking deeper understanding. Humans have a tendency to disregard what they don’t understand or what they can’t explain from their perspectives, when really we should be open to seeking more knowledge and a deeper understanding (and challenging ourselves). It is easy and natural to cast aside what doesn’t make sense to our finite minds.
The other thought was this: Christians must be true to who they follow, walking in integrity, not sitting on the fence, and not people-pleasers. “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). One absolutely cannot be a “people-pleaser” and please God at the same time; the two are diametrically opposed. If you profess Christ, you are not to blend in to this world’s ungodly patterns and ungodly expectations, but to be the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), a nonconformist to whatever is not true/right, and ready to stand alone in your nonconformity like a live fish that swims against the stream. Be ready to disappoint others and not fit into their boxes. Here is the same thought re-worded, “Don’t COPY the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. If we profess Christ yet do not follow Him, but follow the world and those of the world, we are not His – “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” and “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (Matthew 12:30; 1 John 2:15).
What about you? Are you living for the approval and “likes” of your friends, your boss or someone else? Are you trying to fit into their boxes they have made for you? Or are you living for the One who made you? Are you allowing God and God alone to transform your mind, or do your friends mold your mind? If you have nobody to oppose you or disagree with you, and conform to everybody’s expectations for you, then you have no enemies, and really, you are in bondage…”the fear of man will prove to be a trap, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Being fake (being one who compromises) has always resulted in popularity with the world.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” (Mark Twain)
Jesus warned that those who are not on the side of truth would be very popular with the world: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). If everyone praises and adores you and not one person opposes you, one must consider… who are we trying to please – man or God? Sometimes it is very clear. People who profess Christ should be different, not conforming to the same old patterns of the world.
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
It is the world that needs to brag. It is the world that boasts of how much money they have, just to make others feel bad who are less fortunate. The Kingdom of God flips the world’s pattern upside-down. God’s way is different. For example, instead of shouting from the rooftops about good deeds done, Christians are to do them in secret, if possible.
“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:3,4)
Christians must not follow this worldy pattern because love is patient, kind and does not boast.
“They may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” (Mark 4:12)
What about you? Are you on the fence? That is not a good place to be because, well, there is no fence…so if you are on the fence, get down. Are you with Christ or not? Are you worldly or other-worldly? Do you profess Christ but still want to be in the same old patterns of the world? Remember, the two are totally contradictory.
Is God calling you out of the world into His pattern?