Don’t apologize for being different. Those are words that all of us as followers of Jesus need to hear. We are different because we are transformed by Christ and we have a whole new way of looking at life. However, the pressure to conform to our old ways of thinking and acting will always be confronting us because it’s everywhere we go. The messages that we hear through the media, education, entertainment and conversations with friends are in opposition to Biblical principles and values. And if you are not careful and constantly aware of its pervasive influence, you can become conditioned to accept the old standards as being okay.
The Bible refers to living without Christ as the pattern of this world. As followers of Jesus we are to choose to be decidedly different and live the way God intends us to. In order to do this we have to have a new way of seeing things and that comes as the result of daily life transformation. Romans 12:2 puts it this way: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
That’s what I’m going to be speaking to you about this Sunday. I want to dig deeper into this in order to understand the challenge that you and I face every day to live for Jesus and how we do that while facing the ongoing pressure to compromise our Christian beliefs and values to be like everyone else. There are strategic things that we can do to keep our minds renewed so that we don’t get squeezed into worldly thinking.
Over the next few days I want you to take some time to do a couple of things. First, write down all of the ways that you are encouraged throughout the day to live without regard for God and his principles and values. My guess is that you will be amazed at how pervasive the message is delivered. The other thing I want you to do is write down the things you can do to guard your mind and heart from giving into worldly pressure on a daily basis. I think that you will be impressed with what God has already made available to you to be transformed and prepared to stay true to Jesus.
I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday as we connect with God and one another through worship and the word.