I was watching Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week because I like his name, and he played this game where he had a guy out on the street and they brought random people on camera and Kimmel had to guess if they were American or if they were a “foreigner.” He tried to do this based on their appearance, their response to some comments that he made to see if they indicated that they understood english, their dress, etc. He looked for clues and based his guess off of them. He was never right.
Then, yesterday, I was reading my Bible in the afternoon and I came across a familiar verse from Romans 12:2:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
I thought back to that game Jimmy Kimmel played. He couldn’t tell whether the contestants in the game were American or foreign. They appeared and presented themselves so similarly that he didn’t get a single guess right.
Then I started to think. What behaviors do I copy that make it so people can’t tell me, as a follower of Christ, apart from others who are not? What customs do I participate in that make me identical to the very things I know I’m not supposed to be according to God’s instruction?
The Bible tells us that we are not home in this world. We’re called “aliens in a foreign land.” We aren’t supposed to blend in here. We’re supposed to stand out. We’re supposed to be different. It isn’t supposed to be hard for people to know that there is something about us that isn’t the same. It’s supposed to be desirable, exciting, attractive.
Why should we strive to do that? Because the second part of that verse in Romans 12 says,
“Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
We all want to know as much as we can know about God’s will, His plans, His purpose for us. So the way to find out what He has in mind and in store is to be transformed, to be set apart. To be noticeably different, as Christ-followers, from those who are not.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What behaviors do I copy that make it so people can’t tell me, as a follower of Christ, apart from others who are not?
- What customs do I participate in that make me identical to the very things I know I’m not supposed to be according to God’s instruction?
- What part of my life do I need to allow God to transform to make me more like Him and less like I am now?