"There is something different about you; you have something that makes you stand out. You have something I want; you have the peace and joy I need." Have you heard these before? When we are walking with God, it shows, and the people around us notice it. As Christians, we are not supposed to blend in; we are supposed to be outed because we are different. If nobody knows you are a Christian, you are not doing the work. When we follow God's commandments and live in righteousness, everybody can see that we are different from others. Unfortunately, because of an intrinsic desire to fit in, some Christians start conforming to the world to blend in; and that is a big mistake. When we conform to the ways of this world, we open the door to sin, get entangled with different sinful behaviors, and start accepting sin as if there's nothing wrong with it.
Romans 12:2 says, "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." In this verse, Paul advises us not to conform to this world. To conform is to take the shape of something else, like when gelatin takes the shape of the glass it is on. Paul is admonishing us not to conform to the sinful ways of the world we are living in. We must be careful because, in our eagerness to belong and be accepted, we can start adopting the wrong behaviors of this world. We should be the ones impacting and changing the world, not vice versa. We are the ones that have to remain firm and faithful to God's ways no matter what. We are not here to blend in; we are here with a purpose. We are here to stand up for what is right and our beliefs, no matter what.
A perfect example is the story of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (maybe you know them by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.) These three young Jews remained faithful to God and their beliefs even when Nebuchadnezzar threatened them about throwing them into the fiery furnace. They did not hesitate and remained firm. 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar! We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it is, our God whom we serve can deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3: 16-18. Wow, their courage is admirable! How would you have reacted? Are you of those who are constantly blending in? Do you stand up for what you believe? God wants us to influence this world instead of us ending up being influenced by the world. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Remember, we are not perfect, yet we can be different by reflecting the fruits of the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5: 22-23. Another thing, be careful not to fall into boastfulness. Knowing that you carry something different does not make you entitled to boast as if you were exempt from sin. We are not exempt. Be careful because God abhors an arrogant man. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
We live in an ungodly world, and instead of blending in, we need to stand out. The Church needs to stand up and be louder than the world. Remember, we live in this world, but we are not from this world. Do not let your heart be discouraged and dissuaded from letting your voice be heard. The problem nowadays is that the Church is silent and is not sharing the truth. Unfortunately, the world is louder, and the Church is afraid to speak up, or worse, they are compromising their faith by mixing it with ungodly things, and in an effort to not offend, they are failing in their mission of saving souls. As part of the Church, today I invite you to analyze yourself. Are you blending in or standing out? Be sincere; if you feel you have been blending in, it is time to renew your compromise with God and stand up for your beliefs. Let us start being the light that this world needs!