Taking in everything around us, we see many personalities and many people trying to find a place in society. People tell us to be our best “selves;” to make our mark and to follow our own paths. They urge us to be different and to embrace who we are. But only within a specific societal framework. It is an interesting kind of “freedom” to say the least. In today’s world, people are afraid of what they don’t understand or cannot categorize. So, while they push us towards free self-expression, it is often not free. In fact, exploring our unique path is rather limited. To put it more simply,
when society cannot explain it, compartmentalize it, or assign a label to something, then it becomes a thing to either be feared, rejected or otherwise looked down upon.
I have found this to be true on numerous occasions. But as Christians, we are not called to be accepted by the world or to please the world. Rather, we have been called to glorify God through our thoughts and actions. Scripture reminds us of this in Romans 12:2 which says,
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
This is an important reminder for us to consider as we seek to live our lives as vessels. As Christians in a fallen world, it is crucial that our words, actions, reactions, and interactions reflect Christ. How else can we effect change in darkness? Surely not by coating and camouflaging ourselves in the darkness. We have to be lights, we have to be distinguishable from the surrounding corruption. Not in a “superior” or smug fashion, but in a way that allows God’s life-changing and sustaining grace to shine through us — even when a situation might seemingly justify a negative response. This is just one of the many ways we can be transformed in a world that calls us to conformity.
Living transformed is most certainly not easy though. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things about our lives here on earth. There are so many pressures in life that are placed upon us. Pressure to succeed, pressure to be accepted by peers, and other such worries and concerns that people experience in this life. But once again, as Christians, we are not called to comfort, nor are we guaranteed that our lives will be easier once we become Christians. Rather, our lives will likely become more challenging as we begin to pursue God and His glorification.
So as we go about living our lives and we are treated differently on account for our belief in God. Do not be discouraged when you aren’t always accepted. Do not be afraid to continue living transformed. We have been called for a purpose, a calling greater than any earthly prize or worldly fortune. Let us take heart and continue to live transformed in a world calling us to conform. God will work through us and He is the one who will continue to transform us if we let Him.
Media by Dylan Goodyear.