Back in the day, in the 80's, when I was growing up, there were a group of people that was growing in influence. You've seen them in movies, and there is certainly a 'remnant' of them around today:
These were the people who wore their hair spiked and colored, who had all black fashions, boots, chains, piercings, and so on.
They looked very intimidating.
What were they after?
Well, I've learned enough in my 50+ years to know that I can't 'generalize' as if I know every one of their hearts, but I did talk to several, and learned from interviews, etc: They wanted to show their Non-Conformity to the 'established' ways of the predominant culture.
So, they altered their appearance, their music, their demeanor, and they stood out from the culture.
Then they did something interesting...they joined together with others who were of similar mindset, appearance, and tastes, with similar goals and methods.
They 'conformed' to that group!
Truth is, we all want to stand out in some ways, and we all want to conform in other ways. Neither are necessarily bad, and in many ways it may be very good!
All of us 'conform' to something. We try to look a certain way, buy certain things, drive a certain kind of car, wear certain clothes and fashion our hair in a certain way.
So, here's the question: What are YOU 'conforming' to?
Are you conforming to the middle class, suburbanite lifestyle?
Are you conforming to the upwardly-mobile, trendy and success-driven lifestyle?
Are you conforming to the in-your-face, rebellious against society lifestyle?
Here's a news flash for all of us: God WANTS US to "CONFORM"!
Don't believe me? As I've been working my way through Romans, I found this familiar verse:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2a)
God wants us to avoid 'conforming' to this world's values, but instead to 'conform' to His values--and in the process, to be TRANSFORMED by the renewing (changing, spiritually re-wiring) of our minds.
So, the Lord tells us, if we are 'Christ Followers' that we should conform..but it should be to His Word, His teaching, and His example, not the fashions, values, and philosophies of this world.
...and He promises a payoff too!
"...Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2b)
He's saying, in essence, 'Look, I want you to know me. I want you to experience my blessings. I want you to experience my closeness and connection, and to live in the confidence that I am leading you to the best life possible. I want you to understand that, as you let me do my work and you surrender yourself to me, you will be blessed, and I will be glorified!'
Are we willing to listen?
Are we willing to learn?
Are we willing to 'conform' to His revealed will, and in the process to be 'transformed'?
Or...are we content to 'fit in' with some temporary group in this world?
Make no mistake: You are conforming...the only question is, 'To what?'