Feeling the need to fit in
There are so many pressures in our daily lives. How we should act. What is acceptable to do, say, or think. What products we need to buy. That we need to fit in. What we need to be happy.
A lot of this has to do with the capitalistic pressures hitting us from all sides. Some of it comes from the need to compete or be better than someone else. Sometimes, we just want to blend in or fit in. There are many reasons why this is happening.
It just seems that everyone figures they know what it takes to make you happy – and what you have isn’t good enough.
So as an aside, if you haven’t read Romans 12 yet, or in a while, I highly recommend it. It has to be one of my favourite chapters when I really need a boost. One of the verses that I hold close to my heart is:
2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [a]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
Romans 12:2 AMP
Can I just say wow?! There have been times when this verse has knocked me down off my self-made platform. I am not to conform. I am not to fit in with the patterns of society. The amplified translation is my favourite for this verse because it takes the verse a step further – it emphasizes that we need to focus on Godly values and attitudes AND that we should be striving for the perfect and acceptable will of God.
Can I just say how hard this is. It is so much easier to try and fit in. It is easier to just do what the world is doing. But at the same time, it is so assuring for me to know that God isn’t judging or ranking me on the scale family, friends, neighbours, and strangers do. He is pleased when I live according to His perfect will. Even better yet is knowing that my sins are forgiven through the death and resurrection of our saviour. So even when I fall short, which I guarantee I will over and over again, He is there to pick me up and to point me down the path He has for me.
All I need to do is listen.
What does this mean?
This verse has transformed how our family does life. Sometimes we fall to the call of society’s pressures, but God’s Word is always ready to bring us back.
We began by listening to that little voice inside of us. The one that says “don’t do it!”, “warning!”, or the simple feeling that something doesn’t feel right. (This is likely God trying to speak to you).
We started meditating on God’s Word. We started to dig deeper and really look for what the scriptures were telling us. What we couldn’t fully comprehend, we started to study and seek trying to understand His Word..
We started asking ourselves what does God’s Word say he wants for us and from us. I know that by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and believing in Him enters us into a covenant (John 11:25-26), but we started asking what things we could do to make God happy? What does His Word say He does and doesn’t want us to do? Is there anything above and beyond simply believing that we can do to show our love for Him?
We started asking if the things we feel pressured to buy are needs or wants. If they are a want, we ensure that our needs are met first. We prioritize our wants and limit the extra stuff so we aren’t completely distracted by things and unable to focus on God and our family.
Looking at the influences in our lives was a crucial step. What media, movies, games, music, etc were we letting into our home and allowing to fill our brains. We especially had to look at the influences on our young children who aren’t quite old enough to distinguish between what is acceptable or not. We do not shelter them from the world, but we do our best to make our home a safe, Christ-focused space.
These were the big considerations in not conforming.
Beyond our family
Another thing we have been working on is our hesitations for sharing the gospel of Christ. Every soul is worth so much to God. He knows every hair on our heads (Luke 12:7) and calls us His (Song of Songs 2:16). Yet there are those who do not know of this amazing love. We can change that. Even if we can share that love with one person, that is one more soul that knows God. Can you imagine how God’s heart must swim with exultation every time someone chooses to follow Him?
You were born to stand out
Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out. Take up your mantle and let your light shine!
14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.
As you navigate each and every day, fasten this to your heart. You don’t need to fit in with society, you need to be a light in a dark world filled with corruption and misled ideals. Christ is the way and the light of the world. Hold fast to His Word and use it to guide you on a path free from conformity. Be ready to do His will and live His way. It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.
Don’t be afraid to stand out
Many blessings to you! Thank you to all who are following me on my journey; if you aren’t already, please feel free to follow me to get notifications of new posts.