Most people are conditioned to strive toward social acceptance. The American convict (or ex-convict), though ostracized, is no exception. That’s the power of mental conditioning; The ex-convict seeks the approval and acceptance of the exact people who sent him into exile, the same people who disapproved of his actions to such a degree that they thought it appropriate and justifiable to banish him from his hometown and lock him in a cell. Still, he’s released and, because of the punishment he’s suffered for his decision to run afoul of the law, now desires to walk in ways that society deems acceptable. You see, committing a crime –to them- means you hadn’t been conditioned enough to fall in line with society’s agreed-upon rules, so you’re locked in a cage to “think about what you did,” and maybe, just maybe, the torture, the hardship, the embarrassment, will give you that extra push you need to allow yourself to be fully conditioned.

Now, seeking the approval of society, reaching for acceptance, is almost like asking for permission. You see, we’re free to do what we want, but society is like our parent so, before we do anything, we naturally want to make sure we have permission first. But what if a parent is unfit for the role? We know what the government does to parents like that; It separates parent from child, removes children from their homes for their own “safety.” But what if society is an unfit parent? What if, in my estimation, society encourages too much bad and sinful behavior? What if society’s rules do not align with the word of God? What if acceptable behavior by society’s standards is unacceptable by God’s standards? What if I recognize that society is urging me down a path of destruction? Am I then justified in fighting against conformity? If society is an unfit parent then I must be allowed to step away, to separate myself from potential harm.

What I know for a fact is that the greatest governing body, God and His Word, instructs me to “be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). And this statement is immediately followed by, “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God wants us to transform not conform. He wants us to become something other than what society has made us. He understands that, from the moment we’re born, we’re conditioned, molded, and brainwashed by the world around us. We’re taught that life without God is acceptable and natural, and this idea is reinforced everywhere. We’re lied to and told that God’s word is actually man’s words and that there is no way we can physically experience the presence of God. The world (society) has always been involved in a war against God and His Word. It’s gotten to the point where evil is accepted and normalized. That’s why His word tells us to transform (to become something else) and be renewed (born again) because the worldly (socially accepted) version of ourselves is unacceptable in His sight.

Just a thought. God bless.

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4 thoughts on “Be Not Conformed…

  1. In Judaism, we have the concept of “teshuvah.” It’s often translated as “atonement,” but it can also be understood as “return.” I read a beautiful essay once about how, when we seek forgiveness from our fellow human beings, we are, in the that process, also “turning toward God.”

    I see parallels in that with what you have written.

    We are all made of the same soul stuff, and in that way we all reflect the image of the Divine. We all have a path back to God, because that’s where we all came from.

    Somehow, in spite of this, there’s a certain gravity to sin. It seems to pull at people who stop paying attention, especially when we aren’t focused on actively doing good. Thank you for writing this, and shining a light on the better path. May you always find yourself walking that way!

    I hope that your environment also offers you access to the part of society that prioritizes good vs. evil. It can be harder to notice the calm, the helpful, and the supportive when chaos and wickedness make such an unholy racket, but it is always there.

    Wishing you health, blessings, and the fruitful future you deserve.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a beautifully-written and detailed comment.
      I agree: we are all made up of “the same soul stuff” and, yes, all made in His image too. And because of this we should deal with each other kindly and lovingly, with patience and a heart that reaches for understanding.

      Anyway, thanks again for visiting. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought of you again the other day as a poem was referenced in a novel I was reading. Do you read much poetry? This stanza from W.H. Auden’s “Herman Melville” is what reminded me of our conversation:

    “Evil is unspectacular and always human,
    And shares our bed and eats at our own table,
    And we are introduced to Goodness every day,
    Even in drawing-rooms among a crowd of faults…”

    Liked by 1 person

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