Whenever the term “peer pressure” is mentioned one of the most frequent thoughts is that of teen cultures. Young people are usually thought of as the people who must fight against the pressures of being like all the others, of fitting in. Do you have the right clothes and the right shoes? Do you like the right music?
But even Christians can face the struggles of peer pressure. It seems that there are more and more variations on Christian thought, more and more watered down beliefs. There seems to be an increase in attitudes of good behavior being “good enough” to be acceptable, and even earn us a spot in heaven.
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul is addressing people who are attempting to live out a new faith, a new way of believing and worshipping. They were also a people being persecuted by their society. The pressure to conform, to become like everyone else and take part in acceptable societal practices must have been great.
What does Paul urge? What are we NOT to do? What are we to do? What benefit is there in that?
The life of a true, believing Christian is not always easy. It is tempting to fall in with society and go along with what is popular, what is current and acceptable. In a dog-eat-dog world it is tempting to try to be one of the dogs and not a lamb of God. Setting yourself apart and standing up for your convictions can make you a target for much criticism.
But, as Christians, we need to not conform to the world – that is, go along with what is comfortable and acceptable. Instead we are to be transformed – that is, we should allow our faith to change us. The deeper we go in our faith, the stronger we become. And the deeper we go in faith, the easier it will become to understand (“test and approve”) God’s will for us and the world.
The concept of sacrifice often conjures up an image of a single act, but we are called to be living sacrifices. We are to live each day as devoted Christians, faithful believers trying to live out the teaching of Christ. This is our spiritual act of worshipping God.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you work to be transformed?