Conforming

Do Not Conform

GoldfishConform

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

-Romans 12:2a (NIV)

I thought it might help to add in the definition of conform. Thank you Dictionary.com!

conform   v. to act in accordance with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc. of society or a group.

So, in plain English, this means to “do what other people are doing.” 😀

Now that we’ve figured out what “conform” means, we can move on to the verse itself. This verse says that we shouldn’t do what the world (as in the secular world around us) is doing or wants us to do. We should let God transform our minds, to renew them. When this happens, we are better able to be the people He wants us to be.

Now, a little bit about conforming. We know what it is now, but how do we avoid it?

We avoid conforming by standing up for what’s right and going against the crowd. We read God’s word to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Just think about the fish in the picture above. Don’t go with the flow. Do what’s right, not what’s “cool,” or, sometimes, what’s “normal.” Only when what’s “normal” is bad, of course. Weird is good.

Challenge: Stand up for what’s right; go against the crowd.

The Ultimate Battle

The ultimate battle that Christians face is the battle against the world and its temptations. This is mentioned many times in the Bible since it’s so important. It’s hard to live the Christian life with all of the worldly influences around. The Bible says that we should submit to God, and that, if we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). 1 John 2:15-16 tells us that we shouldn’t love the world. It also states that things of the world do not come from God. 1 Peter tells us that we should be self-controlled and alert. It compares the devil to a roaring lion, saying that he is ready to devour us (verse 8), and, in verse nine, it tells us to stand firm in the faith and to remember that there are others going through the same thing.

This is a good point. Other Christians around us are also suffering, and they struggle with many of the same things we do. That’s why it’s good to have Christian friends close to you to help keep you accountable. It’s also nice to have them there when you’re really being tempted. They can encourage you and give you advice, especially when you’re feeling vulnerable to temptation. Having Christian friends to support you is a great way to resist the world and its influences.

One of my favorite verses about resisting the world is Romans 12:2:

“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.”

-Romans 12:2

Challenge: Think of one way the world tries to influence your life. Talk to a friend about it, and try to recognize and resist when the world is tempting you.