By: Emily Hartman
Every day there is a spiritual battle and every decision is a moment to choose to make Jesus Lord instead of allowing the world to influence our hearts, thoughts, minds, and actions. This was very hard for me, a natural people-pleaser, to learn and is still hard for me to put into practice. It is in my nature to want people to like me and I feel like that’s a pretty human thing to feel. And it’s not a bad thing to feel. But it can turn into something negative when this interferes with our decision making and core beliefs. I’ve been in many situations, whether that be at school, at work, or just hanging out with friends, where there’s a lot of swearing or talking about partying or gossiping and all I wanted to do was join in or say the cool thing. I wanted to be included or be “normal” in their eyes and by their standards. But I know that giving into these desires to be liked or be normal isn’t what God would want me to do.
Let’s look at Ephesians 4:17-24 for some advice:
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
So, when faced with the desire to fit in and compromise our convictions, let’s remember that we are called to be holy. We are called to be set apart from the world. We are called not to place value in what the world does. We were once ignorant to the salvation we have in Jesus and to God’s will for our lives. We have learned the ways of the light. We know what to do so let us not revert back to ignorance. We are now in the light and purposed to make God known, but that can’t happen if we blend in with what the world is doing. God teaches and uses us in the moments we choose to be different, to live as the new creation we are.
Memorize a scripture that reminds you that God’s will or his way of life is perfect. Repeat this scripture after you wake up and before you go to bed everyday this week. Use it as your “battle scripture” whenever you need to fight off worldly desires. One of my battle scriptures is Romans 12:2. I like to follow the example found in this scripture when I feel weakened by the world. When you are tempted to follow what the world or people around you are saying and doing, call to mind your battle scripture. Then, shift your mind onto what God would want you to do at that moment as His new creation.
Father, thank you for your word. I am so grateful for the scripture and sacrifice of your son that took me out of ignorance and darkness. I thank you for bringing me into the light and making me a new creation. I pray that I could notice the attitude of my mind when facing the temptation to be like the world. I pray that you could allow me to focus my heart and mind on your will. That I could stay on the narrow path that you have already laid out for me. Your will, God, is perfect. Help me to trust in that solid truth. Father, your ways are greater than my own or the ways of the world. I trust your ways. I pray this all in Your Son Jesus’ name. Amen.
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