Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. Romans 12:2
Are you a conformist or a nonconformist? Most of us are accused of conforming to the ways and ideas of the people with whom we associate. As human beings we do not like to be different. Conformity is not always bad. Nonconformity just to be different can indicate complete self-centeredness and can be obnoxious. On the other hand, conformity can at times be sinful. We dare not go along with the crowd when it is doing something wrong. We can't sin to be one of the group.
God does not want us to be foolishly different or isolated from other people, but He does expect us to refuse to conform to what is against His will. The sinful world will constantly tempt us to forget God and go along with evil. Phillips translates Romans 12:2 like this: "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould." We need courage to stand firm and say "No!" to what we know is wrong in God's sight.
Where can we get this strength? Phillips continues: "But let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed. Thus you will prove in practice that the will of God [is] good." We need to be filled with the strength of God's Spirit. Sustained by His Word and remembering His mercy in Christ, we will find the power to resist conforming to this world.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, empower us through Your Word and Sacrament so we may courageously live as Your people; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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