We live in a society where the rotating of worldly values preoccupies our desires. The effect of following these standards is conformity to their enticements. Secular humanism defines what materialistic things we should have. All forms of materialism are paraded before our searching eyes. Fashion brings identification to the standards of the world and a sense of acceptance. Tattoos that identify attitudes are displayed wherever exposed skin is presented. Our bodies are draped in name brand fashions. Our homes are filled with electronics which have their life expectancy geared to the arrival of a newer or updated version. Our modes of transportation identify our fantasy position in society. Our housing displays a pretense of societal success. Our recreational toys exhibit the importance of extreme pleasures. Draped beneath these objects of fleshly fulfillment is the financial responsibility they carry. Hidden from the view of others is the financial ruin that lies beyond the outward displays.
Christians are not immune to societal conformity. In fact, many Christians strive to be accepted by those outside of the faith. It is hard sometimes to distinguish a Believer from a non-believer. We dress, speak, and act so much like the world. The Bible teaches that we are strangers in this world. The Word says we are a royal priesthood. We are a peculiar people. We are “sojourners” that have taken up temporary residency in a hostile environment. (I Peter 9:9,11) The Bible warns us to not be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2), yet we continue to imitate it. Instead of being living examples of Jesus, we have become actors and actresses who display our own understanding of what it is to be a Christian. I am not advocating conforming to a pre-contemporary life style. I am not saying we cannot dress appropriately to the times. I am not saying we cannot have modern devices that can assist us in life. I am not saying we can’t have affordable means of transportation, or live in a nice house. I am not saying we can’t own recreational equipment. What I am saying is that we need to learn to live within the parameters of God’s Kingdom. We need to be good stewards of His finances. It is not a question of what the world says we need, rather it is acquiring what will bring glory to God. We are not here to be followers of the world, but to be examples of a new and living way. We are not on this earth to impress others, but to honor God.
The reason this world is falling apart is that we Christians have fallen away from our calling. The reason the world is failing to see the answer is because the Christian is failing to live the answer. The world laughs at Christianity because they don’t see any real difference between their lifestyle and ours. Jesus told Philip, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) We need to come to the place where, by our presence, we can say, “He that has seen me has seen Jesus.”
I know there are many Christians that are living examples of the Kingdom of God. But there is also an equal number of Christians that have, like Demas, fallen in love with the world. (II Timothy 4:10) If we hope to make a difference in our communities, we must be willing to exhibit a difference that will cause people to desire the One we represent. Let us learn to stand as Paul did by saying, “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2: 20) Let us learn what it is to be a light in a darkened world. Let us not reflect the world, but may the world reflect the Believer!