When it comes to people in the Bible, who can you think of that did or did not conform?
- Did Saul conform to the Mosaic law based on his upbringing as a Pharisee?
- Did Paul conform to Jesus Christ after his excursion on the road to Damascus?
- What about David, his leadership as a great warrior, who used his talents for God’s work?
- Did Ruth conform when she decided to stay with Naomi and follow her people?
- Did Judas conform to the Jews when he schemed against Jesus/Yeshua the Son of God?
- People like Peter spoke to the people, and did not conform to others who wanted to quiet him.
We must constantly discern when it’s appropriate to conform to something or not.
- Vashti did not conform to the request of her husband, the king, to enter into his presence. After she refused, he removed her from her queenship, and chose Esther to be queen in her place.
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not conform to Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship the image. After they refused to conform, God saved them because of their faith.
Jesus Christ’s followers are required to conform to the Word of God, and not to the world. (Romans 12)
But conforming to what someone else says or wants might not always be right, or in everyone’s best interest.
Even conforming to your own normal business of things might not be beneficial to yourself or others.
Conforming too much to what other people say, or what they think, or what they need, can hurt both you and the body of Christ. It can hinder God’s use of the Holy Spirit in the church.
If I always agree with you, am I a team player?
You might think so, but it might not be so.
If I am a conformer, I might not be able to speak objectively or disagree even when I know I should. Why? Because of my own inadequacies. By not being my authentic self, or not being true to the abilities that Almighty God gave me, I can hurt myself, others, and the church.
In the church, at work, in your community, or at home, what do you do when you are faced with conforming or not?
Do you usually conform to what other people think you should do even if it doesn’t seem right?
If you conform to something that hurts you or others for days, or weeks, or years, it can wear down your mind, body, talents, abilities to serve, and everyone around you.
And then what happens?
There is value in being different. In speaking differently. Thinking differently. Behaving differently.
In fact, being different and not always conforming is indispensable.
Almighty God gave unique talents to each member of the body to use for the benefit of all His people!
To care for other members in the body of Christ is a requirement from God.
Take care of yourself first. Examine what you usually conform to that is beneficial or detrimental.
Be discerning, even if it means you have to be forthright.
The church and its health depends on it.
Conforming to our King Jesus Christ is important. Romans 8:29
Be real. Be your authentic self.
Dare to be different when it matters. Dare to discern when to conform.
You can do all things through him. Philippians 4:13
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8