Posts Tagged ‘conformity’

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

What do you fear? You’ve heard the axiom that F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is that emotion that can cause issues we face to seem bigger than life and can and has caused us to freeze, fight or flight. Yet today think on 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Phil Jackson from Red Letter Christians

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The world needs more people giving us something to think about and less people telling us what to think.

If love is the answer (and it certainly is) then trust is the vital result. To put it simply, knowing that you are truly loved births the ability to trust God regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. Love begets trust which leads to security bringing peace and freedom while keeping fear, worry, control, distraction and the need to conform at bay.

All the heroes in the Bible were characters. That’s not to say they weren’t real but that they didn’t fit in, they were different. They didn’t fall in with the norms of society and religion and the results of their lives were supernatural. The one thing they all had in common was having heard from God and eventually mustering the courage to step out and do what He said. Most of these characters’s weirdness had its roots in an intimate, one of a kind relationship with God.

This unique relationship is available to all of us today; in fact God wants nothing more. Why then is so much of today’s Christianity about conformity and imitation? Why are our churches gathering places for those that are just like us? Why have the outliers, those with legitimate questions been marginalized? How has “my way or the highway” become so prevalent?

God’s doing something new and it doesn’t look or operate the way it always has. He’s moving in the lives of people that have been rejected by religion and conventionality and drawing close those that will reach out and truly love those that are different. He’s using people that don’t have all the answers but are not afraid of the questions. There’s an uprising underway, seek Him with all your heart to see what your distinctive role will be.

“… you’re nuts but you’re welcome here.”
― Steve Martin

One of the most attractive things about another person is them liking you. We all want to be accepted and included but in order for it to be genuine it has to be for who we really are. The kind of acceptance we settle for far too often is approval that’s born out of conformity. Be yourself.

In First Thessalonians chapter three scripture says, “We sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you, that no one be moved by these afflictions. You yourselves know that this is to be our lot.”

So many are in the middle of tough times, if that’s where you find yourself, be encouraged.

I came across this from E. Stanley Jones this morning: “The point of help that Timothy brought was that Christians should not be moved by afflictions, that it is our very lot as Christians. This cuts across the thinking of many present-day Christians; for they think the special favor of God is shown by their exemption from afflictions. They are in the success mentality of modern life instead of in Christ. To be in Christ is to be different, therefore persecuted. Society demands conformity; if you fall beneath its standards it will persecute you. Hence this is our lot.”

When life gets difficult it doesn’t mean God is mad at us or that we must have done something wrong, sometimes it’s just the opposite. Oh, and if everything seems to be going your way thank Him, it’s not because you’ve done something to gain special favor, He loves you, don’t take the credit.

There was a lady dancing in the plaza today with a beautiful flowered dress, a matching hat and a pair of Crocs that completed her outfit. She was dancing alone to the music of a Texas Swing Band and it’s quite possible that she was the freest person I’ve ever seen. She was thoroughly enjoying herself, the music, and the beauty of the day. She seemed as comfortable as she could be in who she is.

I want to be like her. I wish we could all be completely at home in who God made us to be. There are changes involved as we get closer to God but He is not asking us to become someone else or to conform to what others say we should be. It’s very possible the person God wants us to be is quite different from others and isn’t afraid of who they are.