The Word for today:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.(Romans 12:2)
I came of age in the 60’s. In 1965, in the heart of the 60’s, I turned twelve years old. So I grew up hearing a lot about non-conformists.
But even at the tender age of 12, I noticed that all the non-conformists dressed alike and thought alike. They were free to be whoever they wanted to be–just as long as they were like everybody else. They conformed to non-conformity!
It wasn’t until about thirty years later, when I was born again in the mid-90’s, that I met some real non-conformists. Their names were Moses, and Ruth, and Samuel, and Sampson, and Gideon, and Elijah, and David, and Ezra, and Nehemiah, and Mary, and Jesus.
Especially Jesus, the one true non-conformist this world has ever seen. The way he did it might surprise you:
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (John 5:19)
So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” (John 7:16)
So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” (John 8:28)
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:24)
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49)
There’s more where those verses came from, but you get the picture. What Jesus knew is that everyone conforms to an influence of one kind or another — to either the word of the world or the Word of God.
If we do nothing, by default we conform to the influences of the world:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (Ephesians 2:1-2)
So the only way to non-conform is to proactively disregard the word of the world by filling your head with your Father’s thoughts:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)